NHL: Ex-Detroit Red Wing Shawn Burr Dies at 47

Former Detroit Red Wing Shawn Burr has passed away at the age of 47.

Dave Goetze, who runs the Shawn Burr Foundation, said Burr, who has battled cancer in recent years, died at 7 p.m. on Monday after he fell down the stairs at his home which resulted in massive brain trauma. He was eventually taken off life support after he had little chance of surviving, per the Detroit Free Press

Burr was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in February 2011. He underwent chemotherapy to treat the disease and then had a bone marrow transplant. 

He was elected as Red Wings Alumni Association president in 2007. His foundation focused its efforts on raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raising awareness of the disease’s diagnosis, according to Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports. 

Chris Osgood, Burr’s former teammate, says he was an outspoken and funny individual.

“He was a funny guy, a nonstop talker, always had a trick play. My first game as a rookie, he put my name upside down on my jersey. He was the guy in the ’90s who kept everybody else relaxed. He did the dirty work for the team on the ice and then kept the guys relaxed in the dressing room.” 

Jennifer Hammond of My Fox Detroit has her own account of what a great guy Burr was. 

“That was the greatest gift of this jovial, kid at heart called ‘Bursie.’ He made everyone feel like they were his best friend. Always cracking jokes, he was one of the most self-depreciating and enchanting people I’ve ever covered, let alone meet.

“My fondest memory will forever be the time I spent several early mornings at the Burr home as he cooked breakfast for his kids and shuttled them to school several years ago.”


Burr was a left wing who was chosen seventh overall by the Red Wings in the 1984 NHL Draft. Aside from the Red Wings, he also played for the Tampa Bay Lightning in his 16-year professional career which saw him scoring 181 goals and dishing out 249 assists. 

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