The biggest talk of the weekend in the NHL was supposed to be Monday's looming transfer limit. It was different. The headlines were stolen by David Ayres, a 42-year-old ice machine driver.
Ayres is a service technician for the Toronto Farm Team Marlies home arena and an ice machine operator. According to NHL rules, the home team must always be on duty with the assistant goalkeeper, and that role is played by Ayres. He ended up playing unexpectedly when both Carolina Hurricanes goalkeepers were injured in a match against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Ayres missed the first two shots but batted the rest of the kudos on the way to a handsome 6-3 win. He was awarded the number one star in the match.
The hobbyist goalie of the past few years has risen to the headlines as well as a social media hero - while the miserable Maple Leafs are a staple of the mule.
Reporter Sean McIndoe tweeted frequently and bitterly about Leafs' misery in the match. The team's Swedish player William Nylander also played a part.
- Who of the Leafs players does Ayres stop in the pass? Can we all agree that this is definitely Nylander?
Leafs, a slacker and blogger, was a gentleman of Leafs.
- I don't usually make judgments based on a small sample size, but if you lose to your own Zamboni driver then you might be a sales team at the end of the transfer period.
TSN reporter Bryan Hayes foresaw a losing streak throughout Leafs history - and heavy losses have been enough in club history.
- If the Leafs lose, it must be the worst humiliation in club history. Must be.
Hayes's colleague immediately frowned on the back of the transfer.
- David Ayres can now be acquired in exchange for a second round reservation and a young promise.
The fans also had fun at the party. Former NHL watchdog Andrew Raycroft updated how the Leafs could be lost to the ice machine operator. One follower had a nauseating answer.
"The Leafs should have just gotten David Ayres in 2006 instead of trading Tuukka Raskin for Boston in exchange for an overvalued second goalkeeper," the fan wrote.
Rask was traded from Toronto to Boston in exchange for Raycroft.
A hockey fan is using image editing to create a new cover image for the popular NHL20 video game, where Ayres drives an ice machine.
Another Photoshop hashtag called Ayres a "glory moron." Last season, Hurricanes received criticism from old-school hockey ice rinks for what they thought was an overwhelming victory, and then-defunct expert Don Cherry called the team "bunch of jerks." The Hurricanes did not prey on the pimps but took the name. Now, at least for this fan, Ayres is irrevocably part of the same group.
- The Zamboni driver. Hätäapumaalivahti. Honor, the artist wrote.
Needless to say.