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#pounditSunday, October 24, 2021

Hockey world pays tribute after death of 31-year-old Jimmy Hayes

Jimmy Hayes

Former NHL player Jimmy Hayes died unexpectedly on Monday, and the hockey community was left in a collective state of devastation.

Hayes was pronounced dead at his home in Milton, Mass., after first responders arrived at the scene on Monday morning. He was 31. The cause of death has not been released, but a law enforcement official told the Boston Globe that it was not considered suspicious.

Hayes had deep ties to the Boston area. He was a native of Dorchester, Mass., who played college hockey at Boston College and won a national title with the Eagles. He then spent two of his seven NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, who expressed their condolences with several statements:

Longtime Boston College hockey coach Jerry York also had extremely high praise for Hayes.

“Of all the kids I’ve coached, certainly in my top 5 as far as being enjoyable to coach, to hang in the locker room with,” Hayes told Matt Porter of the Boston Globe. “His off-ice contributions to our team, I marveled at so many different times.

“Really good player. Won championships. Played in the National Hockey League. But as a young guy, just an enjoyable person. A lot of it comes from his family. Unbelievable family.

“Great city kid, you know? Always had that city grind to him, that city tenacity.”

Hayes leaves behind a wife, Kristen, and two sons, Beau and Mac. The tributes from across the hockey world showed how well-liked he was.

In addition to the Bruins, Hayes also played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils. He finished his career with 54 goals and 55 assists.

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