Jimmy Hayes, a player who suited up for four NHL organizations during his career, passed away unexpectedly on Monday morning at the age of 31.
The cause of death has not been made public, but first responders went to Hayes’ home in Milton, Mass. and pronounced him dead on the scene, according to reports. The death is not considered to be suspicious.
Hayes was survived by his wife, Kristen, and two young sons, Beau and Mac. In addition to his wife and children, Hayes leaves behind four siblings: Jennifer, Eileen, Justine, and Kevin, a centre for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Hayes last played professionally for the Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton Penguins, the AHL affiliate of Pittsburgh, in 2018-19. Before that, he played in a total of 334 games in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, and his hometown Boston Bruins.
While he wasn’t able to find stability in the NHL, he did find glory early on, winning a National Championship with the Boston College Eagles in 2010.
Heartfelt condolences from the hockey world were spread on social media early Monday afternoon, when the news was made public.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former @WBSPenguins forward, Jimmy Hayes.
The Penguins organization sends our thoughts and prayers to Jimmy's family, friends, and former teammates during this extremely difficult time. pic.twitter.com/A6SnLi9oeN
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 23, 2021
Boston College Hockey is heartbroken over the passing of Jimmy Hayes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hayes family. pic.twitter.com/2nL59U6Fgs
— BC Hockey (@BCHockey) August 23, 2021
Shocking to hear about Jimmy Hayes' death. I didn't cover him long, but I remember he had a big personality and was really well-liked in the Blackhawks room. Just 31. Man.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) August 23, 2021
Completely lost for words. Jimmy Hayes was one of the best dudes ever. My thoughts are with his wife, two boys and the entire Hayes family. A true legend in every aspect of the world who will be very, very missed.
— Mike Grinnell (@MikeGrinnell_) August 23, 2021
Man what’s going on in this world..so sad to hear about Jimmy Hayes news ..only played a short time with you but one of the best guys I have met..condolences to family and friends 🙏🏼 #RIP
— Michael (@grabs40) August 23, 2021
We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Jimmy Hayes.
His warm personality made an immediate impact in the locker room and with our fans. We’re proud of the memories he made in Chicago, including making his NHL debut in 2011. Sending our thoughts and prayers to his family❤️ pic.twitter.com/gP8357luB9
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) August 23, 2021
I am so, so sorry to hear about Jimmy Hayes. Believe me when I say he lit up every locker room he entered (as well as any silly marketing project we ever asked of him). Keep his loved ones in your thoughts.
— Sarah Baicker (@sbbaicker) August 23, 2021
Former Panthers forward Jimmy Hayes has passed away. Just 31 years old. Amazingly nice man, always had a smile during his days in Sunrise. Condolences to his family 🙏🏼🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/4fp9sEhq6r
— David Dwork (@DavidDwork) August 23, 2021
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