Former Detroit Red Wings player Shawn Burr died Monday. He was 47.
Burr died after a fall down the stairs in his St. Clair home caused massive brain trauma. Dave Goetze, who runs the Shawn Burr Foundation, said the decision to take him off life support was made when he was given a poor prognosis.
The Detroit Red Wings chose Burr as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, and made his debut the following season. He left the team after the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, during which the Red Wings made it the Stanley Couple finals. The New Jersey Devils swept the Red Wings in four games.
Burr played for the Tampa Bay Lighting and the San Jose Jose Sharks after leaving Detroit. He finished his career with the Lightning during the 1999-2000 season. Burr played almost 900 games during his 16-year career. He scored 181 goals and 259 assists, but also earned 1,069 penalty minutes.
Burr returned to the Detroit area to live, and joined the Red Wings' alumni association. He was elected president in 2007.
Shawn Burr was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia on February 27, 2011. He completed chemotherapy and received a bone marrow transplant. He was reportedly cancer-free, but it came back the following year.
Chris Osgood, who played with Burr during his last seasons in Detroit, remembered him as talkative jokester.
"He was a funny guy, a nonstop talker, always had a trick to play," Osgood said. "My first game as a rookie, he put my name upside down on my jersey."
Kris Draper, who also played with Burr in Detroit, said Burr was "very quick, very witty." He also said he had "some unreal one-liners."
Draper was surprised to learn of Burr's passing and the cause of death.
"It's a big loss for the hockey community," he said. "The sad thing is we all know he was sick and he was battling cancer. From the sounds of it, it was something that wasn't related to the cancer that he was fighting."