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Maple Leafs by the Numbers: #5 Bill Barilko?

The number is retired for him, but he barely wore it...

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs

This one, if you really want to think about it, could go counter to your initial thinking. #5 is retired for Barilko but he only wore the number for one season in his career.

Bill Barilko (1950-51)
Stats: 58GP - 6G - 6A - 12Pts - 96PM
Stanley Cup: 1951

Most famously known for scoring the winning goal of the 1951 cup final then disappearing, as immortalized in the Tragically Hip song ‘Fifty Mission Cap’.

Barilko came to the Maple Leafs in 1946 after two seasons wit the Hollywood Wolves of the Pacific Coast Hockey League. In his first four NHL seasons Barilko wore #19 and #21, and switched to #5 in his fifth and final season with the team. During the regular season he would score just .2PPG (12 points in 58 games), but when it came to play off time he more than doubled his efficiency, scoring .5PPG (5 points in 11 games).

After he played his greatest season, his best post-season, and winning a fourth Stanley Cup, Barilko decided to take a fishing trip in the off-season, only to have his plane crash in Northern Ontario and go missing for 11 years. I covered the story in more detail here.

Barilko only played one season in number five, but it was retired in his name following his disappearance.

Andy Blair (1928-36)
Stats: 358GP - 74G - 83A - 157Pts - 290PM
Stanley Cup: 1932

Blair would join the Maple Leafs after four years at the University of Manitoba. He played in Toronto for eight seasons, winning one Stanley Cup, before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for cash.

Bill Carson (1926-29)
Stats: 96GP - 43G - 18A - 61Pts - 122PM
Stanley Cup: 1929

Carson joined the St. Pats/Maple Leafs after three years of senior hockey. He played three seasons in Toronto, winning the Stanley Cup in 1929.

Bob Davidson (1937-46)
Stats: 452GP - 90G - 156A - 246Pts - 360PM
Stanley Cup: 1942, 45

Eleven seasons, two Stanley Cups, and he was the fifth captain in Toronto Maple Leafs history, for 1943-1945. He would work with the Maple Leafs as a scout from 1951-1979.

Corbett Denneny (1917-22)
Stats: 106GP - 91G - 40A - 131Pts - 106PM
Stanley Cup: 1918, 22

He was actually a player for Toronto in the NHA before the league folded and moved to the new Toronto NHL team for the inaugural season. With the Maple Leafs he won two Stanley Cups, and played six seasons for Arenas/St. Pat’s.

Garth Boesch (1946-50)
Stats: 197GP - 9G - 28A - 37Pts - 205PM
Stanley Cup: 1947, 48, 49

Boesch played his final for pro seasons with the Maple Leafs, winning the Cups in a row to start his NHL career. After missing the cup in 1950, Boesch would retire from playing.

The Iffy #5’s

The below players were listed as #5’s but I couldn’t find an exact date for when they got #5, what they wore before, after, how long, etc...

So they’re players who wore #5, but their career stats are listed.

Reg Hamilton (1935-45 - career)
Stats: 366GP - 20G - 77A - 97Pts - 379PM
Stanley Cup: 1942, 45

Ten seasons in the Maple Leafs system, Hamilton helped the team win two Stanley Cups, before signing with the Blackhawks in the 1945 off-season.

Pep Kelly (1934-40 - career)
Stats: 230GP - 55G - 46A - 101Pts - 98PM

Kelly spent six seasons in the Maple Leafs system, aside from being briefly loaned to the Blackhawks in the 36-37 season. In the 1940 off-season he would join the Blackhawks full time.

Nick Metz (1934-48 - career)
Stats: 518GP - 131G - 119A - 250Pts - 149PM
Stanley Cup: 1942, 45, 47, 48

Twelve seasons with the Leafs and four Stanley Cups while wearing four numbers is quite the career, his exact years in numbers are a bit hard to whittle down but he was a #5 for a short time in his career.

Moe Morris (1943-46 - career)
Stats: 117GP - 13G - 28A - 250Pts - 149PM
Stanley Cup: 1945

Morris played for the Maple Leafs after the exodus of players who left to join the military during the second world war. He won the Stanley Cup in 1945, and after the 45-46 season he would play in the minors with one call up to the Rangers.


Who was the best #5 for the Maple Leafs?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Bill Barilko
    (138 votes)
  • 2%
    Andy Blair
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Bill Carson
    (1 vote)
  • 15%
    Bob Davidson
    (32 votes)
  • 6%
    Corbett Denneny
    (13 votes)
  • 0%
    Garth Boesch
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Reg Hamilton
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Pep Kelly
    (2 votes)
  • 4%
    Nick Metz
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Moe Morris
    (2 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now