Jimmy Hayes passes away
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced the tragic death of former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins player Jimmy Hayes. Hayes was just 31 years old. No official cause of death has been announced, but the Boston Globe did report that a law enforcement official had told them the right winger was pronounced dead at his home on Monday. The death is not believed to be suspicious at all.
“The Penguins organization sends our thoughts and prayers to Jimmy’s family, friends, and former teammates during this extremely difficult time,” the Pittsburgh Penguins tweeted out on Monday when announcing the passing of Hayes.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Twitter account also tweeted out a message of condolences to family and friends.
“Jimmy was a favorite for his play on the ice and his interactions with fans outside of the rink. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time,” said the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Several other teams including the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers also tweeted out kind messages when learning about the tragic news.
Hayes became a star at Boston College, helping to lead the school to the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament. He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft – 60th overall – but had already signed a letter of intent to play NCAA hockey with Boston College.
Although he was drafted by the Maple Leafs, he never played a game for the franchise as Toronto traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 in exchange for the 43rd overall selection in that season’s draft.
On Tuesday, friends and families posted emotional tributes to Hayes on social media, including his younger brother, Kevin.
“Yesterday I lost my best friend, my brother. My whole life it has always been ‘Jimmy and Kevin,’ or ‘the Hayes brothers.’ I have followed you around since I can remember and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” wrote Kevin Hayes on Instagram.
Kevin won an NCAA national championship playing alongside his brother at Boston College when he was just a rookie.
“(He was) big, goofy, (a) horrible dancer, funny, genuine and (the) kindest person around. I will never forget the times we shared or the memories we made and know that I will try my hardest to have your legacy live on,” he wrote.
“Our world lost someone special and I don’t know if I will ever be the same. But til we meet again, I love you, Jim.”
Hayes leaves behind a wife and two young sons – Mac and Beau. The family had just finished celebrating Beau’s second birthday the day before Hayes’ untimely passing.
“My angel I love you so much,” Hayes’ wife Kristen wrote on her Instagram Story. “I miss you. I don’t know how I’m going to do life without you.”
“You should be here,” she added. “This isn’t fair.”
It remains to be seen whether the Penguins will provide a tribute when the season starts back up, but it seems like the appropriate thing to do.