Former Red Wings forward Shawn Burr dies at 47 - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Former Red Wings forward Shawn Burr dies at 47

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Shawn Burr (Photo from redwings.nhl.com and Dave Reginek) Shawn Burr (Photo from redwings.nhl.com and Dave Reginek)

"Not all good guys finish last..."

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- I can't remember the last time I saw Shawn Burr or even the last time I spoke to him, but that's not important right now. What is important is that I will never forget the way he made me feel every time I saw him.

Maybe you knew the former Wings forward personally, or maybe you just felt like you did. 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-deprecating and enchanting people I've ever covered, let alone met.

His unforgettable voice still rings in my head at this very moment. "Hey Hammer," he would call, and then add some ridiculous, smart ass comment that would leave me searching for a retort. Of course, I could never compete with his wisecracking nature, nor his ability to laugh at his own jokes or personal circumstance, even in the face of cancer.

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. I can't even remember what the crux of the story was, other than a former athlete who was still enjoying life as he transitioned to the real world, but that time with him was priceless, and even more cherished as his family, friends and fans mourn a man who was so much more than a hockey player. He was a genuine good guy, and I will miss seeing his smiling face.

Burr suffered head trauma following a fall at his home over the weekend. He spent 16 seasons in the NHL, including eleven in Detroit, and was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia in 2007. He was 47.

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