Just heard Wendel Clark on the Fan 590 with Jeff Lumby and if you can stomach the ummmm’s and aghhh’s which are more plentiful then the list of Probert NHL fights, its a good listen. You can tell that Wendel had great respect for and a liking for Bob Probert. If you can’t stomach the ummm’s and agggh’s from Lumby, the highlight in my opinion was Clark telling how he played junior hockey with Joe Kocur and the tow of them remained friends despite playing for different NHL teams. Clark said they often had dinner the night before games while in each others cities. One night, when Clark was 18 Kocur told Wendel that a friend would be joining them for dinner. Kocur showed up with Probert whom Wendel had never met. The next night they fought two times and a career battle was born.
Similarly Jamie Sale was also on with Lumby talking about her experiences on Battle of the Blades with Probert. She told of how she was skating at a show very recently in Windsor and how Probert brought his kids to the show and then back stage. Probert gave her a big hug and was in awe of what she was able to do on ice. You can tell how much she enjoyed his company and how special a big guy like that made her feel about what she did.
I remember as a kid hanging out around Maple Leaf Gardens after Leafs Red Wings tilts at the various eateries and establishments and being able to predict which place Probert would show up at. One thing you could gurantee when Probert was in the house, he always drew a huge crowd, he would sign anything for anyone, he never minded taking photos with anyone and he would talk to anyone for as long as they wanted to yap his ear off.
Brian Burke President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs perhaps said it best, “This is a sad day for hockey. A solid guy, a very tough player, and a player who fought even harder battles after he left the ice.”