Yesterday, the Boston hockey community was rocked by the news that Jimmy Hayes had died of an apparent heart attack. He was 31. He leaves behind his wife, Kristen, and two very young children: Beau, 2, and Mac, 3 months.
Anyone from the Boston area knows just how much the Hayes family means to the hockey scene around here, and Jimmy was pretty much unanimously beloved by everyone. May as well have been a god in Dorchester. Can't really put into words how devastating this is for the community
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) August 23, 2021
Jimmy Hayes was a Dorchester kid, who went to Boston College and played for @NHLBruins. He epitomized the dreams of every youngster who plays in Massachusetts. Thinking of Kristen, Beau and Mac and all of his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/NwPV7WcXHK
— Dale Arnold (@DaleEArnold) August 23, 2021
Jimmy was from a big family in Dorchester and was a cousin with the Tkachuks and the Fitzgeralds. Both he and his brother, Kevin, decided to play collegiate hockey at Boston college before heading to the NHL. He was drafted by the Toronto Maples Leafs in 2008 but never played a game for them, instead ending up being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he made his NHL debut on December 30, 2011. In the next two games, he scored his first and second NHL goals. In 2013, he was traded to the Florida Panthers. He would play the next season and half with them before being traded to Boston on July 1, 2015 for Reilly Smith and the contract of Marc Savard. Since he was still an RFA, the Bruins signed him to a 3-year deal, of which he would only play 2. His tenure in Boston was full of promise but his scoring fell flat resulting in the Bruins buying out his final year. He went on to sign a one-year, one-way deal with New Jersey. That 2017-2018 season would be the final season he would play in the NHL. The next season, he signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins spending the entire season in Wilkes-Barre.
Jimmy got married, came home to Milton, MA and started a family. Last August, just after his oldest son turned one, he started a podcast called Missin Curfew with former NHL players Shane O’Brien and Scott Upshall.
While his time playing professionally was short, he had the promise of new, bigger, and better things.
His many teammates loved him.
A statement from Boston Bruins Captain Patrice Bergeron: pic.twitter.com/SUG5AvPj9Y
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 23, 2021
Jimmy Hayes’ hat trick vs OTT in December of 2015. What a game this was.
Max Talbot’s reaction to Jimmy’s 2nd and 3rd goals perfectly summarizes just how much Jimmy meant to his teammates. So sad.
Rest In Peace, Jimmy. pic.twitter.com/EspOH95rYb
— Bradley (@BradIey98) August 23, 2021
Jimmy Hayes 💔 pic.twitter.com/m2hWcVZATs
— Josh (@joshlangerr) August 23, 2021
Colb thought Jimmy was the funniest guy. Heavy heavy heart this morning. I’m simply at a lost for words. https://t.co/YzanfF5ZqO
— Emily Cave (@emilyljcave) August 23, 2021
It’s just heartbreaking.
Rest in peace, Jimmy.