Bill Barilko

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Bill Barilko
Born (1927-03-25)March 25, 1927
Timmins, Ontario, Canada
Died c. August 26, 1951(1951-08-26) (aged 24)
Cochrane, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for Hollywood Wolves (PCHL)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 1945–1951

William "Bashin' Bill" Barilko (March 25, 1927 – c. August 26, 1951) was a Canadian ice hockey player who played his entire National Hockey League career for the Toronto Maple Leafs.[1][2]

Personal life

Barilko was of Ukrainian descent and had a brother, Alex, and sister, Anne.[3]

Professional career

In February 1947, Bill Barilko was called up to the Toronto Maple Leafs from the PCHL's Hollywood Wolves and played for Toronto until his death.[4] He was assigned sweater #21 when he debuted for the Leafs. He changed to #19 for the 1948-49 and 1949-50 seasons. The #5 (which was retired by the Leafs) was worn by Barilko for only one season, 1950-51. During that span of five seasons, Barilko and the Toronto Maple Leafs were Stanley Cup champions on four occasions: 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951.[5] The last goal scored by Barilko was in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens' netminder Gerry McNeil. This goal, in Game 5 of the 1951 Stanley Cup Final (April 21, 1951) won the Leafs the Cup.[2]

Disappearance and death

On August 26, 1951, Barilko joined his dentist, Henry Hudson, on a flight aboard Hudson's Fairchild 24 floatplane to Rupert House in northern Quebec for a weekend fishing trip.[6][7] On the return trip to Porcupine Lake, the single-engine plane disappeared and its passengers remained missing.[6][8] Eleven years later, on June 6, 1962, helicopter pilot Ron Boyd discovered the wreckage of the plane[9] about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Cochrane, Ontario,[10][11] about 56 kilometres (35 miles) off course. The cause of the crash was deemed to have been a combination of pilot inexperience, poor weather and overloaded cargo.[12] Notably, the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup that year, after not winning it during the eleven years that he was missing.[10][12][13]

Barilko is buried in Timmins, Ontario, Canada, at the Timmins Memorial Cemetery.

Fifty Mission Cap

The 1992 song "Fifty Mission Cap" by The Tragically Hip is about Barilko's death and the Leafs' subsequent Stanley Cup drought.[6][11] The song has been credited as singlehandedly reviving Barilko's fame after he had lapsed into semi-obscurity;[14] the song remains a staple part of the Leafs' warm-up playlist at every home game, and the Leafs have a framed, handwritten copy of Gord Downie's lyrics to the song in their private players' lounge.[15] Whenever the band played the Air Canada Centre, Barilko's retired-number banner was always left in place during the concert,[14] and when Downie died on October 17, 2017, the team incorporated Barilko's banner into its Downie tribute.[16]

Honours

Barilko played in the 1947, 1948 and 1949 NHL All-Star Game, scoring a goal in the 1949 game.

Barilko won four Stanley Cups with the Maple Leafs in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1951.

Until October 15, 2016, Barilko's #5 was one of only two numbers retired by the Maple Leafs (Ace Bailey's #6 was the other).[2][6][10]

Barilko's story was published in the 1988 book Overtime, Overdue: The Bill Barilko Story, by John Melady, and the 2004 book Barilko — Without A Trace, by Kevin Shea.

In 2017, TSN aired the short documentary film The Mission, profiling a project to recover the remaining wreckage of Barilko's plane; the film took its title from "Fifty Mission Cap", and it thematically touched on the song's role in Barilko's story.[17] The film received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Sports Feature Segment at the 6th Canadian Screen Awards in 2018.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1943–44 Holman Pluggers NOHA
1944–45 Timmins Canadians NOHA
1944–45 Porcupine Combines NOHA 3 2 5 8
1945–46 Hollywood Wolves PCHL 38 4 5 9 103 12 2 3 5 26
1946–47 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 18 3 7 10 33 11 0 3 3 18
1946–47 Hollywood Wolves PCHL 47 9 2 11 69
1947–48 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 57 5 9 14 147 9 1 0 1 17
1948–49 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 60 5 4 9 95 9 0 1 1 20
1949–50 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 59 7 10 17 85 7 1 1 2 18
1950–51 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 58 6 6 12 96 11 3 2 5 31
NHL totals 252 26 36 62 456 47 5 7 12 104

See also

References

  1. ^ "What are some Canadian stories that have not been told or potentially could be told?". Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  2. ^ a b c "Toronto Maple Leafs Team Alumni Bios: Bill Barilko". Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  3. ^ Hornby, Lance (April 20, 2011). "The legend of Bill Barilko". The Toronto Sun. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Maple Leafs History: 1940s". Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  5. ^ "Maple Leafs History: 1950s". Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Leafs pay tribute to Barilko". CBC Sports. 2001-05-01. Archived from the original on 13 September 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Vyhna, Carola (July 1, 2017). "The 11-year mystery of Leafs' 'Bashin' Bill Barilko'". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 4, 2017. 
  8. ^ Pagan, Ken (October 20, 2011). "Barilko's plane finally arrives home". London Free Press. Retrieved December 4, 2017. 
  9. ^ Victims of Aviation Accidents or Incidents in Canada: Cal Jones, Billy Joe Booth, Jonathan Mann, Brice Herbert Goldsborough, Bill Barilko, ISBN 978-1-155-40830-9
  10. ^ a b c Fitzpatrick, Todd (1999-06-07). "Bashin' Bill". The Sporting News. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  11. ^ a b "Millennium Moment: Fifty Mission Cap". University of Western Ontario Gazette. 1999-05-28. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  12. ^ a b "Bashing Bill Barilko is Missing". CBC. p. "Did you know". Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  13. ^ "Maple Leafs History: 1960s". Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  14. ^ a b "The late Gord Downie helped us remember Bill Barilko". Toronto Sun, October 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "Leafs mourn ‘huge inspiration’ Downie". Toronto Star, October 18, 2017.
  16. ^ "Maple Leafs honour Gord Downie with unique 50 Mission Cap tribute". Daily Hive, October 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "TSN Original: The Mission". The Sports Network.

External links

  • Biographical information and career statistics from Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
  • Ron Boyd wreckage discovery
  • Bill Barilko at Find a Grave
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