Bob Probert was quite the imposing and intimidating figure. Through his book, Tough Guy, we were able to get his perspective and learn about Bob Probert, the man and the hockey player. To find out a little bit more, Dani Probert, Bob’s wife, has graciously answered several questions for us that we wanted to share with his fans.
1. Did Bob have any specific pre-game rituals?
Dani: Bob would come home from pre game skate, have a lunch of pasta, broccoli and chicken. He’d hang out with the kids, and then grab a nap from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. When he got up he’d have two pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and honey and a cup of coffee. It was important to Bob to be the first one at the arena, so he’d leave the house by 4:30.
2. Was he ever concerned with which tough guy he would have to face?
Dani: Bob was never concerned about his opponents. The only fight he ever talked to me about before it happened, was the second Domi fight. And that was only because of the pressure from all the media hype. He felt he really needed to pull that one off, and he did.
3. As a fan, the fight I will always remember was with Bob and Tie Domi. Was there one fight that he always talked about as his toughest?
Dani: There was really no fight that was his toughest, but he was pretty exhausted after the McSorely fight.
4. Did the change in the on ice game in the late 90’s – meaning it got softer – change Bob off the ice?
Dani: The change in rules it didn’t affect Bob off the ice because he was really good at separating what he did at work from who he was at home.
5. Was there one moment that Bob talked about as being the defining moment in his hockey career?
Dani: Bob did not have one defining moment, but he had a lot of highlights throughout his career: Playing in the All Star game; his hat trick; his 398 PIMs and 29 goals in 1988/89; breaking Gordie Howe’s playoff record and scoring the last goal at Maple Leaf Gardens. He also loved playing on the first line with Stevie Yzerman and Gerard Gallant in Detroit, and Tony Amonte and Alex Zhamnov in Chicago.
6. Bob writes in the book “My role was simple, nothing happens to Stevie.” Was that protective role something he carried over off of the ice as well?
Dani: One thing the kids and I miss the most about Bob was that he was our protector.
7. On the back jacket, Ron Maclean says that on CBC one day he ran 3 stories featuring a firefighter from Saskatchewan, a policeman from Ontario, and soldiers in Afghanistan and in all 3 they mentioned that Bob Probert was their hero. How does that make you feel?
Dani: I thought it was good of Ron to say such nice things about Bob. I understood what he meant because Bob was my hero and a hero to our kids. But the funny thing is that he never saw it that way. When he ran into a police officer or a soldier, or a firefighter he would grab a piece of his equipment, a stick, a helmet, or his gloves and trade them for something that belonged to them. He camehome with a soldier’s camoflage uniform. They were his heroes.
8. What’s the most interesting thing a fan of Bob’s has said/given to you during the book tour?
Dani: The support has been amazing. The gifts I treasure most are the stories about how Bob did or said something special for someone. And I am grateful for all the thanksyous people have given me and our family for finishing the book so that they could get to know the man I knew.
For more on Bob Probert, pick up Tough Guy (it makes a great gift for Dad this holiday season too!) This is the story of the toughest man on the ice, as only he can tell it. It features special forewords by Steve Yzerman and Dani.