Crowder left the Devils training camp in 1989 citing personal reasons. He went back to his hometown of Sudbury Ontario and worked in a construction and landscaping job for 5 months. Crowder returned to the Devils in February, and after a 3 game conditioning stint in the minors he finished the season with the Devils, as well as seeing action in two post season games.
The 1990-91 season saw Crowder become a bit of a household name, at least for hockey fans. In his first ever NHL fight Crowder tangled with Bob Probert and won the fight, bloodying his legendary opponent in the process. It was a huge deal at the time. Probert was the NHL's unofficial "heavyweight champion" at the time, and perhaps the most feared fighter since the days of John Ferguson. Crowder's victory over "the champ" was however a double edged sword for Troy - on one hand he had made a name for himself and all but assured himself NHL employment for a couple of seasons at least, but on the other hand his label as a goon was clearly cemented on after this incident. Crowder became the target for every NHL goon - every guy wanted a piece of him to make a name for themselves at Crowder's expense. Such is the life of a hockey goon, and Crowder handled himself very well against all comers.
Here's the full Troy Crowder biography
He actually had 3 nhl fights before Probert.
May 6th 1988 in the playoffs he fought Jay Miller and then Lyndon Byers
February 17th 1990 he fought John Kordic
Round 1 versus Probert was October 4th 1990
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