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NHL tough guy Bob Probert had degenerative brain disease

NHL enforcer Bob Probert, who died of heart failure last year, had degenerative brain disease, Boston University researchers reported in findings released Thursday.

Probert, whose brain was donated to the university's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy following his death in July, suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy according to findings first reported Wednesday by the New York Times and the Globe and Mail in Toronto.

Probert is the second NHL player to be diagnosed with the disease after death. Enforcer Reggie Fleming, who played during the league's pre-helmet era of the 1960s, also had the disease when he died in 2009.

Probert played 16 seasons in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks and ranks fifth all-time in league penalty minutes (3,300).

Here's a look at some of his more memorable fights:

-- Austin Knoblauch

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 
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