Former Komet Jim Burton Dead at 53

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Former Fort Wayne Komet defenseman Jim Burton has died. He was 53.

Team officials made the announcement Tuesday. He played in seven seasons in the 1980's and was a four-time International Hockey League All-Star. He also won the Governor's Trophy as the outstanding defensemen three times with the team. He was also the team MVP twice.

He scored 117 goals, 436 assists and 543 points in 545 games. Burton ranks seventh in assists and 12th in points all time during the Komets 63-year history.

Burton went on to coach in the Western Professional Hockey League and the ECHL.

In a statement from the team, Komets general manager David Franke said:
“I had the privilege to watch Jimmy from a fan's perspective during the era he played for the team. He was an offensive threat every time he touched the puck. Jimmy was a truly great Komet! It is a very sad day in Komet land with his passing.”

Team President Michael Franke added, “If you would have lived here during the time Jimmy was here you would have thought he was one of the best players ever to have put on a Komet uniform,” Komets president Michael Franke said.

Burton, a native of Brantford, Ontario, made his home in Evans, Georgia where he worked at Jones Creek Golf Club and helped his wife operate a flower business.

He is survived by his wife, Sandy and sons Kelby and Ryan. Services pending.