Bill Barilko (born March 25, 1927 in Timmins, Ontario - died August 26, 1951 near Cochrane, Ontario) was a Canadian hockey player who played his entire National Hockey League career for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In February 1947, Barilko was called up as an injury replacement for the Leafs from the Hollywood Wolves and played for the Maple Leafs until his death. During that span of five seasons, Barilko and the Toronto Maple Leafs were Stanley Cup champions on four occasions. Barilko is best known for scoring 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.
Four months later, on August 26, he joined his dentist, Henry Hudson, on a flight aboard Hudson's Fairchild 24 floatplane to northern Quebec en route to a fishing trip. On the return trip, the single-engine plane disappeared and its passengers remained missing despite a massive search. On June 7, 1962 a pilot discovered the wreckage of the plane about 100 kilometres north of Cochrane. Ironically the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup that year, after not winning it at all during the eleven years that he was missing. Many believed that the Leafs now have a "curse" which was attributed from his disappearance, which currently still has yet to be broken.
The Tragically Hip's song "Fifty Mission Cap" (from their 1992 album Fully Completely) prominently features Barilko's tragic story.
Barilko's story was published in the 2004 book, Barilko - Without A Trace by Kevin Shea.