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Not only do Leafs fans and members of the organization have to live with the memory of being defeated by their own Zamboni driver, they'll soon be able to relive their horrors on demand.
The incredible story of emergency backup goaltender David Ayres and his unexpected rise to hockey folk legend will be the subject of a new Disney movie. The 43-year-old will also help produce and write the film, which is being spearheaded by comedian and late-night host James Corden.
"When we were in Carolina I got a call from James Corden. He just wanted to say congrats. He heard about my story, thought it awesome. He let me know he had a production company. No pressure. 'If you ever want a movie, let me know,'” Ayres said in a recent sit down with Sportsnet's Luke Fox.
"Then I hooked up with CAA (Creative Artists Agency). They said to me, 'You wouldn't believe the amount of production companies that have come to us already asking to do this film. It’s insane.' They narrowed it down to 24 at one point, and then we narrowed it down to 12. We listened to 12 pitches from all the different people."
Ayres said it was Corden who drove the process, eventually using his vast network to lock up a deal with an absolute behemoth in the movie space.
"I guess his neighbour was a guy who works high up in Disney, and they went for a walk one night. That's how the whole Disney thing came about. So, we'll see what happens. A little slow now with COVID, but once we get the ball rolling, it’ll be fine. Once we start writing it, I think they'll go two years from there."
In case you've forgotten
Exactly one year ago — February 22, 2020 — Ayres, a Zamboni driver for the AHL's Toronto Marlies at the time, was chaotically summoned to action for the visiting Hurricanes versus the Leafs after both of Carolina's goaltenders were injured in somewhat freakish fashion during the game.
Ayres, who used to moonlight as the Leafs and Marlies practice netminder and Scotiabank Arena's "emergency backup goalie," entered with a 3-1 lead. He played nearly half the game — 29 minutes to be exact — and stopped eight of the 10 freakin' NHL shots he faced, helping the Hurricanes to a 6-3 win and creating an insanely special moment and memory for himself, his loved ones, and the dudes in that dressing room who got to experience one of the wildest games of their lives.
I am the happiest, proudest woman on the planet because my human got to live out his ultimate dream.
...I’m also surprised I still have a voice. https://t.co/qTglhZypG5
— Sarah Ayres (@35Ayres) February 23, 2020
Ayres, who left the Zamboni driver/EBUG life behind and now oversees the Toronto district for Canada’s largest industrial refrigeration contractor, CIMCO, has had an absolute whirlwind year which featured appearances on multiple major late night shows and the creation of a David Ayres exhibit at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
It's got Disney move written all over it.
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