Bill Barilko - The Legend & The Movie

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Saw a couple of articles over at the Toronto Sun website regarding our old friend Bill Barilko.  First though I gotta give some kudos to the Sun for their new-look beta website.  What was once the worst website of any newspaper publication I have ever visited is now much better.  It's not the greatest, but a huge improvement on the old.  I couldn't hang out on the old one.  As much as I wanted to I just couldn't.  I think it was the navigation.  Maybe it was the font.  It could have been both really.  Anyway nice job.

While I'm on the topic of site makeovers, check out if you get a chance.  Nice new sleek look.


The Legend
When Anne Klisanich was given a new phone number after moving to the Toronto area years ago, she shivered to see that it ended in 05.

“I never asked for that,” said Bill Barilko’s sister of the famous five, the most hallowed of retired Maple Leaf numbers.

“But the coincidences never stop popping up with Bill, do they?”

The Leafs no doubt wish they were still playing on Thursday’s 60th anniversary of Barilko’s cup-winner against the Montreal Canadiens — “the last goal he ever scored” as the Tragically Hip song reminds fans at most home games.

“Bashing Bill” had movie-star looks and actually played some post-war minor-league hockey in Hollywood where the stars often dropped by to watch.

He was one of many Leafs plucked from small-town Canada bent on playing their hearts out for the famous franchise.

He also had a mischievous streak on the ice, often carrying the puck deep at a time when defencemen were supposed to be conservative.

“(Owner) Conn Smythe and (coach) Joe Primeau were always warning him about that,” laughed Klisanich.

“They kept saying they were going to fine him $500. Then he scored that big goal. There’s a good picture of them celebrating afterwards and the caption was something like ‘So, Mr. Smythe, you still want to fine me?’.”
Full Article


The Movie

Bill Barilko, the love story? No. 5 belting a walk-off grand slam? Those are some of the twists that backers of a Barilko movie wanted to spice up the tale of the star-crossed Maple Leaf to a mass audience — and why the highly anticipated project remains in limbo.

Seven years after Canadian producer George Mendeluk (Kidnapping Of The President, Deck The Halls an the upcoming The Terror Experiment) bought the rights to Without A Trace from biographer Kevin Shea, no one has shouted “action” on the ice or off.

Mendeluk thought the Barilko legend needed very little tweaking, but ran into some old-school film types who wanted to play up Barilko’s love life or even turn him into a baseball player, who hits a bases-loaded ninth-inning dinger before his disappearance. “I will never give up on the film, nor the story, and hope to start production in 2012,” Mendeluk said in an e-mail to the Toronto Sun. “I mean, it took the director of Black Swan 10 years to get it off the ground.”

Mendeluk once called Barilko “the Buddy Holly Story of hockey ... about an engaging, handsome young man, who died before his prime and what he could have been if he’d lived.”

Full Article


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