Can’t wait to read it!!

Saga of 1951 Stanley Cup hero Bill Barilko retold in new Kevin Shea book
After all these years, the saga of Bill Barilko is as compelling as ever.
Barilko scored the overtime goal to earn the Toronto Maple Leafs the Stanley Cup in 1951 and died in a plane crash that summer at the age of 24. The Leafs did not win the NHL title again until 1962, the year Barilko’s remains were discovered in the Northern Ontario bush outside his home town of Timmins, Ont.
The tale has been previously told in print, put to music in The Tragically Hip’s 1992 recording, Fifty-Mission Cap about the club’s failure to win the NHL title during the 11 years after Barilko’s disappearance and the current Leafs had BB 16 embroidered on caps during their playoff run last spring.
Now, Kevin Shea has written Barilko: Without a Trace, which is the most complete presentation of the hockey icon’s brief life. Film rights were recently purchased.
Shea’s project came about after a conversation around a coffee machine at the Hockey Hall of Fame, where Shea works as manager of special projects and publishing.
“Somebody said that he couldn’t believe that Bill Barilko was still a topic of conversation, and a third request had come in that day for the photo of the Barilko goal,” Shea explains. “I’d long been fascinated with the Barilko story, and Bill’s sister is a volunteer with us here at the Hall so . . . ”
Anne Klisanich’s extensive scrap book collections of practically every newspaper and magazine article ever written about her brother proved invaluable to Shea’s research. Her insights into the Barilko family also were prime assets with which to work.
“The story has been told so many times that I wanted to put a new face on it,” says Shea. “I wanted to find out more about the person than the guy who scored that one goal.
“Talking to neighbours and minor-hockey teammates in Timmins and his pro teammates was fascinating. It was intriguing to find out about the guy behind the goal.”
Shea, Klisanich and Mayor Victor Power will participate in Bill Barilko Day in Timmins on Nov. 19. Then it’s off to Alfie’s Cigar Store for book signings.
Shea’s previous hockey books include one on the Smythe Family and one on former Leaf Ron Ellis.
“I enjoyed this one so much,” says Shea. “But it also was the hardest one, not necessarily to write, but just that there were so many Barilko stories out there and I was getting people calling up right till my deadline.
“It was just wonderful to have that happen, to try and fit it all in was a wonderful task.”
Barilko and his chums frolicked on outdoor rinks in the Porcupine gold mining region in the 1930s. Those were hard times and he quit school at age 15. He’d listen to Foster Hewitt’s play-by-play of Leafs games on radio and always dreamed of making it to the NHL.
But he was no teen star. When he turned pro at 18, the Leafs sent him to a fourth-tier affiliate in Los Angeles, where he played for the Hollywood Wolves. From the wilds of Canada to Tinseltown – that was a trip.
A tough defenceman who could rock opponents with hip checks, he picked up nicknames such as Bashin’ Bill and The Basher.
He got a huge career break when Toronto boss Conn Smythe, looking to rebuild with young players, promoted him ahead of more experienced players at the team’s top affiliates. Barilko was playing for the Wolves in February 1947, and sipping champagne from the Stanley Cup that spring.
“It’s that great Canadian story – from rags to riches,” says Shea.
Barilko’s 1951 Cup-winning goal, scored while he was in the air horizontal to the ice, was captured by the late Nat Turofsky’s photo that is the most requested from the HHOF archives. The goal gave the Leafs a fourth title in the five springs Barilko was with the team.
Dr. Henry Hudson, a dentist friend, piloted a light aircraft that he and Barilko rode in towards James Bay for a last fishing trip before the start of a new NHL season. His mother pleaded with him not to go. They were leaving on a Friday, and Barilko’s father had died on a Friday five years earlier. She didn’t want her son flying into the bush on a Friday.
Barilko and Hudson weren’t heard from again. A massive search turned up nothing.
“The family never gave up hope,” says Shea. “They washed his shirts and would put them on the clothesline.”
The wreckage was spotted May 31, 1962, just north of Cochrane by a pilot inspecting timber. The remains were removed on June 6 and interred in Timmins Memorial Cemetery on June 15. A gravestone is decorated with twin maple leaves, hockey sticks and pucks. Under the surname is a head-and-shoulders photo of Barilko wearing a Leafs sweater.
“He was becoming an outstanding player,” Shea says of what might have been. “He was getting better and better and probably would have eventually been in the Hall of Fame. But that’s all conjecture.”
Barilko memorabilia in the possession of the HHOF includes the sweater he was wearing when he scored the unforgettable goal, the puck that went in the Montreal Canadiens net, a stick he used during that season, a pair of his skates, a fishing rod he once used and a small bench with a wolf’s head carved on each end that he made when he was a boy.