David Ayres' fast-track to superstardom has garnered the attention of the NHL, as the league's emergency backup goalie rules are expected to be discussed when general managers convene for their annual meetings in Florida next week.
Ayres has dominated headlines across the sports world since Saturday night, when he was forced to suit up in goal for the Carolina Hurricanes and ultimately won his appearance against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite all the fun and publicity the situation created, the league will now explore if the process needs changing.
"I think it's a fair question," deputy commissioner Bill Daly told NHL.com's Tom Gulitti. "It's something we've given some consideration over the years. As recently as last year, we discussed (it) with general managers. It happens very, very rarely, but when it happens, it raises everybody's attention to the issue and whether there are fixes that need to be made to that particular issue."
Ayres, 42, works for Toronto's AHL affiliate and has practiced with the Maple Leafs in the past. The last emergency backup to see game action prior to Ayres was Scott Foster, a 36-year-old accountant who earned a win for the Chicago Blackhawks in March 2018.
"There's no easy fixes to it," Daly said. "Particularly, we have to work with the (NHL) Players' Association. Who's a player? Who's not a player? What qualifies all of that? But we obviously want what's best for the game, and we want to make sure people aren't putting themselves in danger by playing goal in a National Hockey League game ... So that's obviously something we have to continue to work through."
Ayres has turned into a viral sensation since living out his NHL dream. The city of Raleigh declared Tuesday "David Ayres Day," and he's been interviewed on talk shows throughout the continent, including the "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."