David Ayres is more than just the talk of the hockey world.
The 42 year old Zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies is trending on twitter after the Whitby native put on the jersey of the Carolina Hurricanes as an emergency backup, making eight saves in a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ayres was called into action after Carolina goalies James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured.
Remier left in the first period. Mrazek was removed from the game midway through the second period when he charged out of the net for the puck and collided with the Leafs Kyle Clifford.
Ayres, a kidney transplant recipient, suited up with Carolina leading 3-1.
He allowed a pair of goals before the intermission.
NHL rules stipulate that the home team is required to have an emergency goalie available in case either loses their goalies during a game for whatever reason.
After the game, the Hurricanes began marketing a jersey with Ayres name and number on it. Proceeds from the sale of the jersey’s will be given to a kidney foundation that has not yet been selected.
Carolina honoured Ayres on their twitter account.
The man, the myth, the legend pic.twitter.com/qmhWXSavYj— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 23, 2020
North Carolina Governor Rob Cooper tweeted that he was ready to make Ayres an honourary North Carolina citizen.
I’m ready to make emergency goaltender and zamboni driver David Ayres an honorary North Carolina citizen after courageous @Canes win. Amazing.— Roy Cooper (@RoyCooperNC) February 23, 2020
Prior to his emergence on the national stage last night, the closest Ayres got to big league action is when he was backup goalie for a game with the Marlies in 2015.
He has been a practice goalie with the Maple Leafs and Marlies for the past eight years.
Banner picture courtesy @Canes Twitter