Tracey, who moved to Timmins last year, had heard Barilko’s story from a Rogers Hometown Hockey segment filmed in the community.
“I geared myself up with some cleaning supplies, rubber gloves and a brush and off I went. I found a map of the cemetery and found his grave. I have to admit I was feeling really weird because I didn’t know him, but when I got there I knew exactly what he was talking about because the headstone was covered in moss,” she said. “As I sat down to clean it I couldn’t help but feel pride for what my father wanted done and I have to admit that I found myself talking to (Barilko). It made sense to me, because I’m sure my dad was thinking, when it’s his turn, who’s going to look after his headstone?”
After cleaning Barilko’s headstone, Tracey also cleaned the adjacent gravesites of his parents. She’s not sure if Barilko has family in Timmins.
Bill Riley said he’s always been a huge fan of the Tragically Hip and grew up a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs; he knows the Hip's 50 Mission Cap, the 1993 song that recounts Barilko's story, almost word for word. Watch his last goal: