The local hockey community has been rocked by the unexpected death of Dorchester, Mass., native Jimmy Hayes, a Boston College product who played seven years in the NHL, including two years with the Bruins.
The news of Hayes’ passing was confirmed on the BC Hockey Twitter account. According to a Boston Globe report, police and first responders went to his Milton, Mass., home, where he was pronounced dead. While the cause of death was not immediately known, the death is not considered suspicious. Hayes was 31.
Hayes won a national championship at BC and went on to play 334 games in the NHL, including 91 with the Bruins from 2015-17.
Hayes leaves his wife Kristen, and two young sons Beau, 2, and Mac, who was three months old; brother Kevin, a star player with the Philadelphia Flyers, sisters Jennifer, Eileen and Justine and his parents Shelagh and Kevin Sr.
“The news hit me like a thunderbolt this morning,” BC coach Jerry York told the Herald. “One of my all-time favorite Eagles, just the way he conducted himself and the way he practiced. He was Boston, through and through, from Dorchester and from a wonderful family. I’ve gotten to know them very well over the years. I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that he won’t be waking up tomorrow. It was a life just started with two young children. It’s just devastating.”
Hayes last played professionally with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the AHL in the 2018-19 season but he had been skating this summer with some local pros.
Hayes had started a podcast with former NHLers Shane O’Brien and Scottie Upshall called “Missin’ Curfew,” which had broken the news on free agency day that Blake Coleman, one of the more sought-after free agents this summer, had signed with the Calgary Flames.