- Associated Press - Friday, July 9, 2010

WINDSOR, ONTARIO (AP) - Fellow hockey players paid tribute to Bob Probert on Friday, remembering the former NHL tough guy as a gentle giant with a big heart.

About a thousand mourners gathered at a Windsor church to say goodbye to one of the most feared fighters in NHL history.

Probert, who played for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks between 1985 and 2002, died Monday after collapsing with chest pains during a family boat trip on Lake St. Clair. He was 45.

Former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman gave the eulogy for his teammate, whose off-ice struggles included drugs and alcohol.

Throngs of hockey fans lined the roads to pay tribute as Probert’s casket was carried on a special sidecar of a motorcycle.

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