Delight 30: David Ayres and Drafts

I’ve been blogging since 2005. That’s over 100 in blog years. I’ve written over 1,200 posts. I actually go back and read stuff I’ve written in the past and consider how much my ideas and thoughts (see what I did there) have either evolved or remained the same. One of the other things I noticed in a recent review is the number of blog posts that are in draft form. I have 42 unpublished posts. One of those posts was part of my delight series entitled “David Ayres”. I had a moment when I wasn’t even sure who that was and why in the world I would be writing about him. But then I quickly remembered.

David Ayres was the emergency backup goalie sitting in the Air Canada Centre in the early winter of 2020 when the unthinkable happened. Both of the visiting team’s goalies for the Carolina Hurricanes were injured and David was called into duty. This is one of those rarities that has only happened once or twice before in the history of the NHL. I recall being at home and not watching the game when social media exploded. I quickly turned on the game to witness the second miracle of the night…he won! Essentially you have a man on the street being pulled into the biggest stage and succeeding. While Ayres was indeed a top-quality amateur goaltender, he wasn’t anywhere near the level required to play in the NHL. And yet for one night, one moment, he stood his own and had the experience of a lifetime.

Everyone loves the underdog story and this was the ultimate story. In fact, it appears it’s going to be made into a movie.

The delight I experienced from this comes at 2 levels. First, the shared experience that many had to watch this event unfold was joyous. Surprise is often associated with delight and this was not on anyone’s bingo card that night. Knowing what this meant to him, his family, and even the way the Carolina team embraced him was pure delight.

The second aspect here is a bit more meta. This event took place on February 22, 2020. I began writing this article on March 12, 2020. One look at those dates and you can figure out perhaps how this ended up in my draft folder for 3 years. But looking back and recalling the event, it still makes me smile. I spent a little time looking at videos of the event. Drafts are a bit like photos that you forget about and emerge on your timeline or other random places. They spark a memory that if you’re careful to savour, can bring you back and allow you to relive something nice. I’m grateful that that post didn’t get lost. It’s a 3-year-old story that still makes me smile.