The family of Bob Probert has decided to go ahead with a memoir the longtime NHL enforcer was working prior to his death.
“Tough Guy,” due to be published Oct. 26, will recount his career with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks when he was one of the most feared players in the game, and also delve into his off-ice troubles.
Probert was co-writing the book with Kirstie McLellan Day before he suffered a heart attack and died last month.
“He was really excited and happy about the opportunity to tell it like it really was — behind the headlines,” Dani Probert, his widow, said in a statement released by publisher HarperCollinsCanada. “After much deliberation, my family and I have decided to fulfil Bob's dream and publish the book.”
Here's more from the publisher, HarperCollins:
TORONTO (August 13, 2010)—Hockey enforcer legend Bob Probert was hard at work on a raw and candid memoir with acclaimed writer Kirstie McLellan Day when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack in July.
“Bob was working on his own book with Kirstie when he passed,” said his widow, Dani Probert. “He was really excited and happy about the opportunity to tell it like it really was — behind the headlines. After much deliberation, my family and I have decided to fulfill Bob’s dream and publish the book.”
“HarperCollins has made it its mandate to publish the stories of Canada’s most interesting personalities and most important contributors,” said Iris Tupholme, Vice President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief at HarperCollinsCanada. “Bob Probert’s memoir represents a rare opportunity for Canadians to take a hard look at the game we all love. We are proud to have him on our list.”
In the book, to be titled Tough Guy, Probert recounts in his own words his notorious career as one of the most feared men on the ice during his time with the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks. The book also chronicles a hard life off the ice; Probert was suspended from play, he submitted to rehab programs ten times, he was jailed for carrying cocaine across the US border and he survived a near-fatal motorcycle crash.
“There is no question that Bob Probert was one of the most dynamic and controversial players in hockey,” said Jim Gifford, executive editor at HarperCollinsCanada. “I’m grateful that he and Kirstie were able to get so much accomplished on the book before he passed away. I know he wanted to tell his
story in his own way.”
Through his turbulent career and struggles with drugs, booze and the law, Bob Probert was also a devoted family man who was involved in his community, loyal to his friends, and a committed supporter of Canadian soldiers serving abroad.
At times stark, at times funny, and always remarkably honest, Tough Guy will cover Bob Probert’s life as a boy growing up in Windsor, chronicling his junior hockey years in Brantford, Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie, through his professional career with the NHL. The book will feature over 50 photographs, many of them never before seen. Tough Guy will publish October 26, 2010.
Kirstie McLellan Day, who co-wrote this memoir with Bob Probert, also co-wrote Playing with Fire, the bestselling memoir by Theoren Fleury, and is currently working with Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean on his upcoming book.
August 13, 2010