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Bill Barilko

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Title: Bill Barilko  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Toronto Maple Leafs, List of Toronto Maple Leafs award winners, Help desk/Archives/2006 October 20, Formerly missing people found deceased, 5th National Hockey League All-Star Game
Collection: 1927 Births, 1951 Deaths, Accidental Deaths in Ontario, Canadian Ice Hockey Defencemen, Canadian People of Ukrainian Descent, Formerly Missing People Found Deceased, Ice Hockey People from Ontario, National Hockey League Players with Retired Numbers, Pacific Coast Hockey League Players, Sportspeople from Timmins, Stanley Cup Champions, Toronto Maple Leafs Players, Victims of Aviation Accidents or Incidents in Canada
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bill Barilko

Bill Barilko
Born (1927-03-25)March 25, 1927
Timmins, ON, CAN
Died c. August 26, 1951(1951-08-26) (aged 24)
Cochrane, ON, CAN
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 1
  • Professional career 2
  • Disappearance and death 3
  • Honours 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

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 Leafs 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 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.[5] The last goal he ever scored (in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens' Gerry McNeil in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, on April 21, 1951) won the Maple Leafs the Stanley 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 Seal River, Quebec, for a weekend fishing trip.[6] On the return trip, the single-engine plane disappeared and its passengers remained missing.[6] Eleven years later, on June 6, 1962, helicopter pilot Ron Boyd discovered the wreckage of the plane[7] about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Cochrane, Ontario,[8][9] 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.[10] Notably, the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup that year, after not winning it at all during the eleven years that he was missing.[8][8][10][11]

The Tragically Hip's song "Fifty Mission Cap", from their 1992 album Fully Completely, features Barilko's story and the lack of another Leafs championship with the lyrics "Bill Barilko disappeared, that summer (background singer : "in 1951"), he was on a fishing trip. The last goal he ever scored (Background singer : "In overtime"), won the Leafs the cup. They didn't win another, 'till 1962, the year he was discovered."[6][9]

W. M. (Bill) Barilko is buried in Timmins, Ontario Canada at the Timmins Memorial Cemetery.


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

Barilko won 4 Stanley Cups with the Maple Leafs in 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951

Barilko's #5 is one of only two numbers retired by the Maple Leafs (Ace Bailey's #6 is the other).[2][6][8]

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.

See also


  1. ^ "What are some Canadian stories that have not been told or potentially could be told?". Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  2. ^ a b c "Toronto Maple Leafs Team Alumni Bios: Bill Barilko".  
  3. ^ Hornby, Lance (April 20, 2011). "The legend of Bill Barilko".  
  4. ^ "Maple Leafs History: 1940s".  
  5. ^ "Maple Leafs History: 1950s".  
  6. ^ a b c d "Leafs pay tribute to Barilko".  
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ a b c d Fitzpatrick, Todd (1999-06-07). "Bashin' Bill".  
  9. ^ a b "Millennium Moment: Fifty Mission Cap".  
  10. ^ a b "Bashing Bill Barilko is Missing". CBC. p. "Did you know". Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  11. ^ "Maple Leafs History: 1960s".  

External links

  • Bill Barilko's biography at Legends of Hockey
  • Bill Barilko's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
  • Ron Boyd wreckage discovery.
  • [1]
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