It was as though fate singled out Bill Barilko for
A poor boy from Northern Ontario who laboured at skating,
Barilko, miraculously found himself playing defence on the hockey
team of his dreams-the Toronto Maple Leafs. Through five National
Hockey League seasons, Barilko emerged as the toast of Toronto,
winning four Stanley Cup championships. On April 21, 1951, playing
their rivals, the loathed Montreal Canadiens, Bill Barilko scored
the overtime goal, winning the Toronto Maple Leafs their seventh
Stanley Cup. It was the last game he ever played.
Four months later, preparing to return to Toronto for training
camp, Barilko made a fateful decision and planned one final fishing
trip to a favoured spot on the east side of James Bay. Neither
Barilko nor his friend, pilot Dr. Henry Hudson, were heard from
again, prompting a massive aerial search. Eleven years later,
the remains of both men were discovered in the remnants of their
small aircraft, a few miles outside of Cochrane, Ontario.
It wasn't until Barilko's body was found, that the Leafs again
hoisted the Stanley Cup. They won the Cup that same year-1962.
Bill Barilko's life has been celebrated for more than fifty
years. The impeccable shot taken by Nat Turofsky is the most
requested photograph in the archives of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Toronto Star selected Barilko's Stanley Cup-winning
goal as one of the top three sporting moments in Toronto history in
December 2003, the National Post called Barilko's 1950-51
Leaf team the best Toronto hockey team of all time. The Tragically
Hip has even celebrated Bill Barilko's legend in their song, "Fifty
Barilko: Without a Trace chronicles the extraordinary
story of this immensely popular athlete and includes a new
chapter on the rediscovered crash site. Teammates Ted Kennedy,
Allan Stanley, Gus Mortson and Howie Meeker are among those who
share stories of their sporting life with Bill. Childhood friends
and his grieving girlfriend explain the Bill we didn't read about.
Those involved in both the search and discovery tell their amazing
tales. And the entire story is lovingly woven together through the
immaculate memories of Bill's sister, Anne.