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Power Take: Sad news regarding Downie hits the hockey world hard

Toronto defenseman Bill Barilko disappeared during a fishing trip in 1951. 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.

I stole this from The Tragically Hip, who stole it from a hockey card.

Music lovers across Canada and in American border towns were dealt a heavy blow this week when The Hip announced lead singer Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer. The news hit hockey folks particularly hard because the band and sport are inextricably linked.

Downie’s godfather is Hockey Hall of Famer Harry Sinden. Whether it was “Fifty-Mission Cap,” which told the tale of Barilko, “Fireworks,” which features the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia, or “The Lonely End of the Rink,” Downie drew in listeners with hockey imagery.

The music has blared through dressing rooms for decades. The St. Louis Blues went Hip-only after hearing the news. Sidney Crosby commented on them. Their songs have long been the intro for “Hockey Night in Canada.”

It’s been Downie’s music at work, and it’s been awesome.