Fighting in ice hockey has been a long-standing tradition. It is something that is witnessed in both professional and amateur play and has involved a number of notable players and fights. In the majority of fights, the actual fighting is done by the enforcers on the team, who were referred to as “goons.”
This fighting has always been governed and regulated by a system of unwritten, yet fully understood, rules that players, officials and coaches refer to as “the code.” Even though fighting is considered a regular part of the game, those who engage in it may still face penalties.
One legendary tough guy in NHL history was Bob Probert. While he tragically died at the age of 45 in 2010, he is still thought of as one of the toughest enforcers and a player who was quite exciting to watch. His career in the NHL lasted for 17 years, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings.
During his career, Probert wracked up 3,300 penalty minutes across 935 games; he also scored 384 points. While there was no lack of fights during his career, there are a few that stand out from all the rest. Learn about some of the best-of-the-best when it comes to Probert’s fights during his NHL career.
Probert’s very first fight came while he was still a rookie and took place in Vancouver. At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, his sheer size was intimidating. This fight took place between Probert and Craig Coxe, who at the time was 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds. This was one of two fights that would occur between the two.
For a while, Joe Kocur and Probert were on the Red Wings team together. At this time, they terrorized their opponents side by side and earned the nickname “The Bruise Brothers.” The two had their first fight with one another on December 17, 1993. This fight occurred when Kocur was on the Rangers and came to the aid of his teammate Esa Tikkanen after Probert knocked him to the ice. The reason the fight began was because Probert thought that Tikkanen knocked down his teammate, Keith Primeau.
His very last fight on the ice occurred on February 13, 2002. This fight involved a rookie from Florida, Brad Norton. During an earlier part of the game, Probert fought Petre Worrell. After this fight, Probert played in nine other NHL games, but never got involved in another fight.
While fighting during NHL games still occurs, it is not as prevalent as it once was. However, those who love the game will always be able to look back on the videos of some of the great fights that occurred during the NHL’s past.
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