David Ayres was the unbelievable sports story of the weekend when the minor league hockey zamboni driver was forced into emergency goalie action during the Carolina Hurricanes - Toronto Maple Leafs game on Saturday night. In the aftermath of the improbable performance, it has also become one of the most heartwarming stories in sports.
15 years ago, Ayres needed a kidney. He thought his hockey career was over. Then his mom stepped in and donated a kidney, setting him on a path that not only kept him playing, but culminated on Saturday night in goal for the Hurricanes. Wasting no time, Carolina started selling a t-shirt jersey with Ayres' name on it. Proceeds will go to Ayres and a local Carolina-area kidney foundation at Ayres' request.
On Monday Ayres appeared on NBC's TODAY and was surprised on-air with a video call from his mother. Ayres was in tears in seconds as his mother told him how proud she was of him and they discussed the kidney transplant.
If there's a better sports story in 2020, I can't wait to hear it because this one is perfect. Thank you, Canada.