Ex-Zamboni driver David Ayres that beat the Leafs lands pro hockey coaching gig

Apr 6 2022, 6:43 pm

The infamous “Zamboni goalie” David Ayres is back in pro hockey.

Per The Athletic’s Sara Civian, Ayres has been named as the head coach of the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Vermilion County Bobcats, set to begin to play next season.

Ayres became a household name in hockey circles back in February 2020 when he filled in as an emergency backup goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes, improbably picking up the 7-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Having previously served as a Zamboni driver for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies as well as a practice goalie throughout the Toronto organization, Ayres ended up creating a punchline for life against the Maple Leafs by beating the team that employed him.

Emergency goalies had suited up on multiple occasions throughout NHL history, but Ayres was the first to ever be officially credited with a team win.

Ayres was 42 years old at the time of the win for Carolina, making eight stops in 29 minutes after both Petr Mrazek and James Reimer went down with injuries for the Hurricanes.

Outside of his lone NHL win, Ayers has no other pro hockey playing experience, having last played eight games in 2014-15 with the senior men’s Norwood Vipers of the Allan Cup Hockey tournament.

Ayres has since become a folk hero among Hurricanes fans, often making appearances at the team’s games over the past two years.

David Ayres’ story is reportedly in production for a feature film produced by Disney, though it seems like they might need to add a new plot point into the script.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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