Tuesday, August 06, 2013

On the passing of Shawn Burr

Shawn Burr: A big part of the Red Wings' success story
The Red Wings have been an incredibly successful franchise for more than two decades. But their turnaround in the late 1980s and early 1990s didn’t happen by accident nor overnight. The Steve Yzerman draft pick in 1983 was the most significant move. There were others, though. One was Shawn Burr being taken in the first round with the seventh overall selection the next year, 1984.

Burr, who died Monday, joined the Red Wings about the same time I started at The Oakland Press. I was the high school writer, but I took extra time to cover the Red Wings. I went to their training camp my first year. It was at McMorran Arena in Port Huron. I recall interviewing Burr, as a rookie after his first training camp practice, while he was riding on an exercise bike. He was a kid, but you could tell he was going to make it both in regard to talent and demeanor.

And Burr did make it. He played 16 years in the NHL. He was a terrific two-way player. He was also a wonderful person, who was nice to everybody. A few years back I was the PA announcer at Red Wings alumni game. The game raised a lot of money for charity. Burr was the star of the show in regard to autographs and engaging with fans.

If time could take back things, hopefully one would be putting Burr on one of the Red Wings’ Stanley Cup championship teams. He was worthy, and unquestionably part of their current legacy.


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