There was no way I was letting this day go by without writing about what happened 60 years ago tonight.
It was April 21st, 1951, game 5 of the Stanley Cup final between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. At the 2:53 mark of the first overtime period, Bill Barilko scored the last goal of his life winning the Stanley Cup for the Leafs.
The 24 year old defenseman perished in a light plane crash that summer while on a fishing trip to Northern Ontario. Not until his body was recovered 11 years later in the bush near Cochrane, Ontario, did the Leafs win another championship.
I recently received several documents from the daughter of Ron Boyd who was the helicopter pilot who found the crash site of Bill Barilko. I also recently conducted an interview with Kevin Shea, author of "Barilko: Without a Trace".
Video Of Barilko's Last Goal
The Call Of The Goal
This brief video of the goal gives us a listen as to how it was heard on April 21, 1951.
The Top Leafs Goal
Global TV's Jim Tatti tells us about #1, off the stick of Bashin' Bill Barilko.
Ken Dryden on Bill Barilko
Dryden tells us why Barilko's goal matters.
The final resting place of Bashin' Bill Barilko.
My brothers and I in our Leaf jerseys. #5 Forever.
Bashin' Bill Barilko
Bill Barilko's goal remembered on a Maple Leaf Garden's Ticket Stub.
The card immortilized by The Tragically Hip in Fifty Mission Cap.
The Tragically Hip's "Fifty Mission Cap" Lyrics
Bill Barilko disappeared that summer
He was on a fishing trip
The last goal he ever scored won the Leafs the cup
They didn't win another until 1962 the year he was discovered
I stole this from a hockey card I keep tucked up under
My fifty mission cap I worked it in to look like that
He's our Buddy Holly, immortalized by the Hip's "Fifty Mission Cap", and scorer of the 1951 Stanley Cup winner for my beloved Maple Leafs. Every year, his legend grows. Here are some additional links of interest.