November 7, 2011


Even though the Toronto Maple Leafs were destroyed by the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, they can still win the Stanley Cup in June. This early in the season the thought of the Leafs as Stanley Cup Champions can seem a bit far fetched. Their 9-4-1 start to the year is their best in awhile and besides they have a legendary figure working in their favor.

On Sunday October 17th, 2011 a team of Timmins Ontario residents led by retired dentist Dr. John Shaw and project sponsor Bill Hughes retrieved the wreckage of a plane crash that involved Leafs legend Bill Barilko and his close friend dentist Henry Hudson. The wreckage has been returned to Barilkos hometown of Timmins where it awaits a decision on how to present it to the public. How does this relate to the leafs winning the Cup this year you ask.

On April 21, 1951 Barilko scored the Cup winning goal for the Maple Leafs in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens. It was Barilko's 4th Cup in his 5 seasons with the Leafs. That summer the 24 year old defenceman decided at the last minute to go on a fishing trip with Hudson, to northern Quebec. The trip was just prior to the start of training camp and upon their return the plane crashed in a dense forest near Cochrane Ontario. The largest search and rescue mission in Canada took place but Barilko and Hudson or their plane could not be found. The Toronto Maple Leafs would not win another Stanley Cup until 1962, the same year Barilko's crash site was discovered by a passing helicopter pilot.

It has been 60 years since the crash took place and 50 years this spring since the crash site was discovered. In the last 50 years the leafs have only managed to win 2 Stanley Cups, the last being in 1967. For Leafs fans they hope the string of coincidences between Barilko and the Cup continue and seasons past disappointments disappear.
Mike Lord

1 comment:

  1. Very nice story. Think God would need to a massive Leafs fan tho for them to win the Cup and continue the 'coincidences'.