Joe Kocur honors Bob Probert
DETROIT — It was a fitting tribute for a fallen teammate.
When the Red Wings alumni were introduced for the second game of the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park Tuesday, Joe Kocur wore 24, not his customary 26, in honor of Bob Probert.
Probert, who teamed up with fellow pugilist Kocur in the late ’80s and early ’90s as part of the "Bruise Brothers," died in 2010 while boating with his family. He collapsed after suffering severe chest pain and did not respond to efforts to revive him.
Kocur said he wanted Probert remembered during the Hockeytown Winter Festival.
"I’ve been thinking about it for a long time," Kocur said. "I didn’t know how to do it or how to approach it. Dougie Gilmour mentioned it to me. I called Dani (Probert) last night and asked if it would be appropriate and if she minded. She was very excited."
Dani Probert was at the Alumni Showdown and was a witness to Kocur’s tribute.
"I love the guy," Kocur said. "I was just able to present it to his oldest son (Jack). And he’s wearing it right now. It’s all about their family."
Darren McCarty, another good friend of Probert’s, said he thought it was the perfect way to remember Probert.
"He’s always in our hearts, always in our thoughts and our prayers, as is his family," McCarty said. "He was a big part of a lot of our lives here. It was just a subtle shout-out to him. I’m sure he’s not busy riding a Harley in heaven. I’m sure he pulled over to watch the game."