Former NHL star, Jimmy Hayes, best known for representing Boston Bruins, was found dead at his home aged 31. Emergency responders reached home in Milton, a suburb of Boston, after receiving a call on Monday morning to find the married father-of-two unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have launched an investigation and are yet to ascertain the exact reason behind Hayes' death but as of now don't suspect anything unnatural. The former hockey star reportedly died just a day after celebrating his elder son's second birthday and only three months after welcoming his second child.
According to initial investigation, there is no indication of Hayes being ill in the hours before he died. Although police isn't suspecting foul play, they haven't divulged much about the cause of his death. Hours before his death, Hayes and his wife Kristen had been celebrating their son Beau's second birthday on Sunday.
Kristen had also shared an Instagram post around midnight showing them playing arcade games. By morning, Hayes was dead. Hayes and Kristen had welcomed their second son, Mac, just three months ago.
His last appearance as a hockey player was on August 5 and he looked absolutely fit and healthy. Naturally his death has left his fans and the entire hockey fraternity shocked.
The Bruins said on Twitter that they are "heartbroken by the passing of Dorchester native and former Bruin Jimmy Hayes. Our thoughts are with his wife Kristen, his sons Beau and Mac, and the entire Hayes family during this very difficult time."
"His warm personality made an immediate impact in the locker room and with our fans," the Blackhawks said in a statement. "We're proud of the memories he made in Chicago, including making his NHL debut in 2011."
Gone Too Soon
Boston College, where Hayes continues to be a role model and is held with high regards, posted his photo on Twitter and released a statement. The college also posted a picture of Hayes lifting the national championship trophy in 2010.
"Boston College is heartbroken over the passing of Jimmy Hayes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hayes family," the statement read.
Hayes, a 6-foot-5 right winger, was drafted in the second round (60th overall) in 2008 by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Two years later, he helped Boston College to its second straight national title, totaling 13 goals and 22 assists in 42 games as a sophomore.
In December 2011, Hayes made his NHL debut after a trade to the Chicago Blackhawks. He next played for the Florida Panthers, where he enjoyed his most successful spell, scoring 19 goals and 16 assists in 72 games.
In total, Haynes scored 54 goals and 109 points for all teams. He retired in 2019 after playing in the AHL. Post-retirement, he cohosted a podcast with fellow former NHL players Shane O'Brien and Scottie Upshall called 'Missin Curfew.'
Hayes had also won silver medals with Team USA in the 2007 Under-18 World Junior Championship and the 2009 U-20s