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Statements On Bob Probert From The Ilitches, Others

Below are statements about the death of Bob Probert from various people involved with the Red Wings.

Mike and Marian Ilitch:

“Bob was a part of our very first NHL draft class that also included Steve Yzerman, Joe Kocur, Petr Klima and Stu Grimson," Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch said in a statement. "Bob was always there for his teammates and was one of the toughest men to ever play in the NHL. He also was one of the kindest, most colorful, and beloved players Detroit has ever known.

"We are very saddened by his passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob’s family.”

Joey Kocur:

"We have lost one of the toughest players, best power forwards and all-around great guys who ever wore the Winged Wheel," said Kocur, who played beside Probert in Detroit from 1984-90. "My favorite memory of Bob would be sitting down before a game, going over the opposing lineup and picking and choosing who would go first and if the goalie would be safe or not.  It was great to be able to go out on the ice knowing that he had my back and I had his.

"He was like the brother I never had.  My prayers go out to his family.”

More from Joey Kocur:

"Obviously, we went to different teams through the years, but through it all, we stayed in touch and maintained our friendship," Kocur said. "We still had that bond and that never left. The last time I talked to him (about a month ago), he felt real good. Every time I saw him, he looked fine.

"I just can't believe this."

Ken Holland:

Wings general manager Ken Holland called Probert's passing a "tragic loss."

Said Holland: "I don't know any details yet so I don't want to say too much. But any time someone passes at age 45, it's a tragic loss."

Jimmy Devellano:

“It’s very sad, very, very sad,” Devellano said. “He was a pretty popular player in Detroit in the '80s, and certainly one tough guy with a lot of ability. But unfortunately we never got 100% out of him because of his off ice problems.”

“We did everything,” Devellano said. “I don’t think there was a player I ever worked harder on, tried harder on to get his off ice life turned around.”