Fighting gave him a chance to play in the NHL. It earned him the respect of his peers. It afforded him a certain notoriety.
"The first couple of years, I really enjoyed it. You're young, you're ready to take on the world. You think you're invincible. I had fun doing it."
Coxe fought the most feared heavyweights of his era, including Bob Probert and Dave Brown in a span of five weeks in the fall of 1985 while he was with the Canucks.
He did not approach his work half-heartedly. Coxe watched tapes of other fighters and built up a book on each man. He learned trade secrets from Canucks scouting director Ron Delorme, who was then winding down his playing career, and veteran tough guy Glen Cochrane. He fought early and he fought often.
His first fight with Probert came at the Coliseum early in the 1985-86 season. The minute-long epic started in the faceoff circle in front of the Detroit net, went into the corner, then behind the net and back into the corner before it ended in front of the
Detroit net. If Coxe didn't win the fight, he certainly didn't lose it.
A couple of years later he fought both Joey Kocur and Probert in the same game in Detroit.
"I still have a hard time watching the NHL on TV. I wish I was still there."
Monday, March 12, 2007
Craig Coxe Interview with the Province
In between running their enforcer tournament, the Province interviewed one of their panelists, former tough guy Craig Coxe. Coxe is best remembered for his two slugfests with legendary enforcer Bob Probert. A couple of tidbits from the article: