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Joe Kocur  

Retired NHL Player; One Half of the "Bruise Brothers"

Joseph George "Joey" Kocur is a retired professional ice hockey player. He is best known as one half of the "Bruise Brothers," the other being Bob Probert, when playing for the Detroit Red Wings.

Known for his physical play, Kocur was one of the most penalized players in NHL history, amassing a career total of 2519 penalty minutes in stints with the Detroit Red Wings, the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks. Kocur officially retired at the end of the 1998–1999 season. He served as a video coach to Scotty Bowman from the 2001 season until Bowman's retirement following the 2002 season. Under head coach Dave Lewis, Kocur served as an associate coach along with Barry Smith; he was not asked to return after the hiring of coach Mike Babcock.

Kocur was best known for his devastating right-hand punch; he so frequently hit players with his right hand, often landing blows on their helmets or teeth, his right hand was often in poor condition.

In an interview, Donald Brashear described how Kocur cracked his helmet with his punches; though his helmet absorbed most of the blow, he still felt serious pain in his gums even on the other side of his face, leaving him unable to eat for a day or so. Kocur's punches often seriously injured players, such as Brad Dalgarno of the New York Islanders, whose orbital bone, cheek bone, and jaw were fractured by Kocur.

Kocur left the NHL following the 1996 season and was playing in the International Hockey League when the Red Wings brought him back during the 1996–97 season after captain Steve Yzerman recommended him to head coach Scotty Bowman. Although he did not fight as much as in his younger days, Kocur brought an element of toughness to the Wings that had been lost with the departures of Probert and Stu Grimson. Kocur scored goals in the 1997 and 1998 Stanley Cup finals series, helping the Wings win the Stanley Cup both times. Kocur had previously won a Stanley Cup ring as a member of the 1993-94 New York Rangers.

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