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Former first-rounder Shawn Burr dies at 47

Aug 5, 2013, 10:04 PM EDT

shawnburrap AP

Former Detroit Red Wings first-round pick Shawn Burr died at a Detroit-area hospital on Monday, according to TV station WDIV.

It’s believed that Burr suffered from head trauma following a fall at his home, although WDIV notes that the exact cause of death is unknown. He was 47.

For the last three years, Burr had been battling cancer. reports that he was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in 2010.

While he struggled with AML, Burr took part in a “Take a Bite out of Cancer” campaign alongside the Michigan Dental Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The goal was to increase bone marrow registries across the state. He described the process to WDIV in May 2012.

“Someone that gets swabbed at the dentist’s office is going to save someone’s life,” Burr said. “And that’s, I mean, it only takes one person that’s going to save somebody’s life, and I think that’s kind of cool to be a part of something like that.”

The Red Wings drafted Burr seventh overall in 1984. He spent parts of 11 seasons with the Red Wings, becoming a regular member of the team from 1986-89 through 1994-95. He followed that with two stints (one in 1995-96 and 1996-97 before his final four career NHL games in 1999-2000) as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning and parts of two seasons with San Jose Sharks.

Overall, he scored 440 points in 878 regular season games and 14 points in 91 postseason contests.

(AP photo via

  1. jimw81 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM


  2. mattmc20 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Heartbreaking! He was a good guy who did a lot for his community. R.I.P.

  3. eggserino - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Shawn Burr was the grittiest of the gritty. I hated that guy as he faced my hometown Blues. He’s always stuck in my mind as the character guy that I’d love to have on my team.

    I hope that his family, his kids (if he had them) have the support that they need to get through this awful time. I am thinking about them. What an awful feeling…

  4. deeznutz3d - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    R.I.P Great guy, i went to one of his hockey programs when i was younger.

  5. jeffchadwick - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Very sad news. RIP.

  6. michiganhockey11 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Sad to hear about this late last night. Life long Wings fan and he was playing when I was getting old enough to be able to recognize players. Saw him quite frequently at Wings alumni and charity games. Lot of guys from that old guard with the Wings are passing the last 10 years

    Glad to have seen him play and the work he’s done with AML is great. God speed Shawn.

    • paperkid96 - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Dont forget McCrimmon.

      • michiganhockey11 - Aug 7, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Shoot your right. Sheesh there’s been a lot of them.

        It’s like I’m playing NHL 94′ on my Sega all over again….

  7. 0ffsides - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    I remember growing up watching Burr, Gallant, Schnepts, Probert and Kocur. not the most talented teams, but some great character guys to have in the lineup. I glad I got to see him play.

  8. LampyB - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    So sad to hear. I went to his hockey camp for two seasons and still have my Burr jersey signed by him and konstantinov.

  9. ethanmacleod1685 - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Really, not the appropriate article. This article is about Someone who has just died and your trying to profit

  10. polegojim - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Seriously Ethan??? How is this article inappropriate?

    My father died from complications due to AML 24 years ago this month… although it was called AL at the time. Their best attack was massive amounts of blood transfusions back then. Very inefficient and completely taxing on the system as a whole. In the end, he died because his system could not recover from the overall effect. Marrow treatment brought this disease’s treatment out of the stone age.

    The fact James used Burr’s illness and death as a vehicle to create another wave of awareness regarding his efforts and current methods to treat AML is a GREAT thing. He also honored him for his NHL contribution.

    Nothing could be MORE appropriate and thank you James.

  11. polegojim - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Sorry Ethan… I didn’t see the other post.

  12. eggserino - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Jim, I appreciate your perspective on this disease.

    I think Ethan was referring to a post about making money from home that has since been removed.

  13. polegojim - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Thanks Egg… I didn’t see that post. Misunderstood ethans intent.

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