UnNews:Leafs re-sign defenceman Bill Barilko in hopes of making playoffs
12 February 2010
Toronto, Ontario (UnNews) - Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has made yet another blockbuster deal. After acquiring defenceman Dion Phaneuf from Calgary and goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere from Anaheim, Burke has managed to entice former Leafs defenceman Bill Barilko to re-sign with the team.
Barilko retired in 1951 after he died in a plane crash. He was on a fishing trip. The last goal he ever scored (in overtime) won the Leafs the Cup. They didn't win another until 1962, the year he was discovered. Burke decided to sign Barilko after someone posted a comment on Youtube, advising the Leafs to "dig Bill's old crusty ass up its the only chance they have". Burke said he learned about Barilko from a hockey card he kept "tucked up under my 50 mission cap".
Barilko, whose body was recently exhumed so he could join the team, is thrilled that he has the opportunity to play again. Barilko says he is going to need a few weeks to get in shape again as he hasn't played hockey in almost six decades and his body has suffered the effects of advanced decomposition. He expects to lace up with the Leafs later this month.
He has already skated with the team a few times and despite the fact that his corpse does carry a stench most of the other players have taken a liking to Barilko. Bill entertained them with stories of his time spend overseas in the Second World War. He also told them he was distraught when he found out people thought he was a Russian spy during the 11 years he disappeared. After his body was found, he was able to get some peace when his name was cleared. He also went on the record stating that he did not curse the Maple Leafs during his absence and the reason "they didn't win another 'til 1962" is because the Leafs sucked without him.
By adding Barilko, Burke hopes to beef up Toronto's defence, he is contemplating putting Barilko on a line with either Phaneuf or Kaberle, stating he wants to put his best defencemen together and maximize their ice time. He also hopes the stench of Bill's corpse helps to distract the opposing players. Coach Ron Wilson hopes that Barilko's smell will serve as more of a distraction than Sean Avery's stick-waving antics. He mentions that the smell can be a distraction to teammates but that they are getting used to it because of the amount of time they've spent with him.
Overall, fans have been pleased with the recent trades that brought Phaneuf, Giguere, and now Bill Barilko to the team. It may be too late for this year though, the Leafs are last place in the conference (19-30-11) and will need to win nearly all of their remaing games in order to make the playoffs. Coach Wilson is looking toward the future however, and with the signing of Barilko, hopes the Leafs will be a contender next year. Barilko expressed interest in staying with the team for next season as well. Doctors and scientists are working with Barilko to help improve the structural integrity of his corpse and prevent it from falling apart on the ice. If he holds together, Bill hopes to play for the Leafs for another 60 years, maybe even winning them another Cup.
- The Tragically Hip "50 Mission Cap". Youtube, December 22, 2008
- David Shoalts "Leafs acquire Phaneuf, Giguere". Globe and Mail, January 31, 2010