NHL star Bob Probert, one half of the “Bruise Brothers,” was widely considered one of the toughest and most violent ice hockey players of all time. His role as the hard-hitting enforcer of the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, as well as his hard-living ways and death at age 45, is the subject of a new documentary; wathc the trailer above.
Tough Guy is directed by Geordie Day, who previously co-directed Goalie, a film on former NHL goaltender Clint Malarchuk and produced Reelz’s Charles Manson: Final Words. It is based on a book by Day’s mother Kirstie McLellan Day, who co-wrote it with Probert, who died after collapsing on his boat on Lake St. Clair in 2010. Probert’s widow Dani exec produces the film, which premieres on Canada’s Superchannel on December 14 and will air in the U.S. in 2019. It explores Probert’s career, which included being voted to the Campbelle Conference All-Star team in 1987-88 as well as 246 on ice fights in 16 seasons. He finished his career fifth in all time penalty minutes.
Probert also lived hard: A chain-smoking alcoholic, he snorted cocaine regularly, even in a jail cell while under arrest, as well as cavorting with nurses during his many trips to rehab.
While he says that he “just got a little addicted to the fun,” it wasn’t fun all the time, as evidenced by a letter he wrote during rehab in 2003. “You have taken away my freedom to make healthy choices,” he wrote. “You have taken away my valuable time from my wonderful wife Dani and my four kids. You have taken away my self-respect and dignity. You have turned me into someone I am not.”
The film features interviews with Bob and Dani Probert, Joe Kocur — the other “BRuise Brother,” Tie Domi, Don Cherry, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios, Stu Grimson, Sheldon Kennedy, Troy Crowder, Steve Yzerman, Tony Twist, Petr Klima, and Marty McSorely — and the trailer even features Mr T.