Former NHL and Red Wings heavyweights Bob Probert and Joey Kocur, along with Bob Duff of the Windsor Star, have a book coming soon. The Bruise Brothers – Hockey’s Heavyweight Champions will be released June 1. Michigan In Play! magazine had a sneak peek at it and was good enough to pass along some exclusive excerpts to hockeyfights.com:
…“Though they are best-known as two of the most dominant heavyweights in NHL history, I would stress first of all that they were both good hockey players,” said Yzerman, who wrote the foreword for the book. “They fought, but they did it the right way. They never jumped a guy. They were always pretty respectful. They knew who the tough guys in the NHL were and they knew each fight was a challenge.”
Kocur, who’s won more Stanley Cups (four) in the past 15 seasons than any NHLer, could also put the puck in the net and displayed his all-around hockey abilities during his second stint with Detroit from 1996-99, when the club rescued him from the oblivion of a Michigan recreational league.
Teamed with Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby, they formed one of the league’s most effective checking units, Detroit’s famed Grind Line, helping the team to back-to-back titles in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
“I have to admit, when they told me Joey Kocur was going to be playing on my line, I didn’t know what to expect,’’ Draper said. “I knew he could fight. I found out he could play.”
Added Maltby: “He made our lives a lot easier out there.”
Even those who were often on the receiving end of their blows find it difficult to dislike them. “They were larger-than-life characters,” former St. Louis tough guy Kelly Chase said. “People loved the way they fought.
Tie Domi teamed with Kocur in New York and fought Probert nine times, but simply smiles when their names are brought up in the discussion. “Joe and I were tag-team partners in New York,” Domi said. “He really showed me the ropes.”
As for Probert, his frequent nemesis, Domi is nothing but respectful. “He’s a classy guy,” Domi said. “We’ve been friends, even through all that’s happened between us through the years.”…
For the rest of the story and to find out how you can order an advanced copy of “The Bruise Brothers – Hockey’s Heavyweight Champions” go to www.michiganinplay.com and turn to page 21 of the April digital issue of the magazine. The archive section of the magazine contains past columns from Bob Probert.