Probert was on a boat in Lake St. Clair with his wife, children and in-laws when he "developed severe chest pains" Monday, family friend Rich Rogow said.
Probert played for the Red Wings in 1985-1994 and for the Blackhawks in 1995-2002.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Probert family during this difficult time," Blackhawks president John McDonough said in a statement. "Bob will always be a member of the Blackhawks family and his memory will live on through our fans."
The Blackhawks honored him with a Bob Probert Heritage Night on Feb. 22, 2009, and he dropped the ceremonial puck before Game 3 of the 2009 Western Conference Final between Detroit and Chicago.
While playing for the Red Wings, Probert was charged several times with driving under the influence. He served prison time for trying to carry cocaine from Canada into the United States. - AP