All the cool things to happen to “Zamboni goalie” David Ayres since surprise NHL debut

Feb 25 2020, 4:21 pm

The last few days have been a whirlwind for David Ayres, the 42-year-old former Zamboni driver who got to play goal in an NHL game.

Not only did Ayres play, he stopped all eight shots he faced in the third period and registered the win in a 6-3 triumph by the Carolina Hurricanes. As if that wasn’t good enough, the win came on Saturday night during the feature game on Hockey Night in Canada in the centre of the hockey universe against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Talk about a dream come true.

It was a huge win for the Canes, who are fighting for a playoff spot in the hyper-competitive Eastern Conference.

Receiving a hero’s welcome from Hurricanes players in the dressing room afterwards, there’s so much to love about this happy-go-lucky guy.

First, there’s his wife, who live-tweeted Ayres’ NHL debut.

Then there’s the fact that he had to overcome a kidney transplant in 2004.

Ayres is getting the experience of a lifetime this week. The Whitby, Ontario, native travelled to New York City on Monday, conducting an impressive media tour that included interviews with the following places:

  • NBC’s The Today Show
  • ESPN Radio
  • Fox News
  • CNN
  • CBS Sports Radio
  • ESPN SportsCenter
  • Sportsnet
  • TSN
  • The New York Times
  • The Dan Patrick Show
  • Inside Edition
  • NBC Nightly News
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Wearing his #90 Hurricanes jersey, Ayres also got to sit down with commissioner Gary Bettman at NHL headquarters, and went for a skate outside Rockefeller Center.

Speaking on The Today Show, Ayres was brought to tears after some beautiful words from his mother Mary, who was also his kidney donor.

Then on The Late Show, Ayres helped Stephen Colbert finish his monologue:

Ayres has been named an honorary North Carolinian by the state governor.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Raleigh has proclaimed Tuesday to be “David Ayres Day.”

Ayres will be present at Tuesday’s Hurricanes home game, signing autographs and sounding the siren before the game.

The team is even selling #90 Ayres T-shirts, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the National Kidney Foundation.

Also benefitting the National Kidney Foundation will be sales from Storm Brew beer at the game.

Clearly Ayres is the hero we didn’t know we needed.