Retired hockey enforcer Bob Probert, who played for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks and struggled to overcome drinking problems, has died. He was 45.
Family friend Rich Rogow says Probert was on a boat in Lake St. Clair with his wife, children and in-laws when he “developed severe chest pains” Monday.
Rogow says Probert’s father-in-law gave him CPR. Probert later died at Ontario’s Windsor Regional Medical Center, where Rogow spoke at an evening news conference.
Probert played for the Red Wings in 1985-1994 and for the Blackhawks in 1995-2002.
“It’s a sad day for all Detroit fans and the Red Wings because he was a guy that was one of the most feared fighters, the most feared players in the NHL,” said Ken Kal, the voice of the Detroit Red Wings.
Metro Detroiter Johnny “Bee” Babanjek was a close friend of Bob Probert.
“Bob was a great guy, he was a quiet guy away from the rink. And he did most of his talking on the ice,” said Babanjek.
Babanjek says Probert had most recently been on the Legends of Hockey Tour and says he’s in shock at his death.
Blackhawks President John McDonough says in a statement that Probert “will always be a member of the Blackhawks family.”
Probert’s career was interrupted several times after having to go to rehab for substance abuse problems.
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