Bill Barilko
Billbarilko.jpg
Position Defenceman
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (0 m)
180 lb (82 kg)
Teams Toronto Maple Leafs
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born March 25, 1927,
Timmins, ON, CAN
Died August 26, 1951 (age 24),
Pro Career 1945 – 1951

William "Bashin' Bill" Barilko (born March 25, 1927 in Timmins, Ontario – died August 26, 1951 near Cochrane, Ontario) was a Canadian player who played his entire National Hockey League career for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

NHL Career[edit | edit source]

In February 1947, Barilko was called up to the Maple Leafs from the PCHL's Hollywood Wolves and played for the big club until his death. His sweater number was 21 when he first donned the blue and white during the 1946-47 and 1947-48 seasons. He was promoted to number 19 for the 1948-49 and 1949-50 seasons. The number 5 (which was retired by the Leafs) was only worn by Barilko for 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. Barilko scored the overtime goal against the Montreal Canadiens Gerry McNeil in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final on April 21, 1951, to clinch the Cup for the Maple Leafs.

Death[edit | edit source]

Four months later, on August 26, 1951, he joined his dentist Henry Hudson on a flight aboard Hudson's Fairchild 24 floatplane to Seal River, Quebec, for a fishing trip. On the return trip, the single-engine plane disappeared and its passengers remained missing. On June 7, 1962, helicopter pilot Ron Boyd discovered the wreckage of the plane about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Cochrane, Ontario (about 35 miles off course). The cause of the crash was deemed to have been a combination of pilot inexperience, poor weather and overloaded cargo. Notably, the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup that year, after not winning it at all during the eleven years that he was missing.

Honours[edit | edit source]

Barilko is one of only two players to have had his number retired by the Maple Leafs. (Ace Bailey's #6 is the other.)

Barilko is the subject of the Tragically Hip song "Fifty Mission Cap".

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Highlights of Game 5 of the Finals including goals by Richard, the game tying goal with 32 seconds left by Tod Sloan and the overtime winner by Bill Barilko.

External Links[edit | edit source]

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