Local hockey community mourns loss of former Bruin Jimmy Hayes


The local hockey community mourns the passing of Jimmy Hayes, the Dorchester native who won a national title with Boston College before a seven-year NHL career that included a two-season stint with the Boston Bruins.

According to Boston Globe, Hayes died unexpectedly Monday morning. He was 31 years old. The cause of death has not been announced, but the death is not considered suspicious.

The sudden news of Hayes’ death quickly spread throughout the Boston area, where Hayes made an impact on and off the ice.

At Noble and Greenough School, a boarding school in Dedham where Hayes played varsity hockey for two seasons, the boys’ varsity hockey coach Brian Day said no one has ever left a conversation with Hayes without feeling good afterwards.

“The hockey play is pretty obvious in how good he is as a player, you can only imagine that kind of player in high school,” Day said. “But I think when I think of Jimmy, I think of – aside from the hockey play, obviously – a kid who really loved being a part of our community and a kid that our community was really happy to be a part of. . “

Day said having Hayes was a big help in creating a program. Day was the school’s third coach in three years, which he said might have scared off some potential families.

“But the Hayes family came and developed a great relationship that continues to this day,” he said. “It gave what I was doing some credibility so that the other kids who followed it would look at Nobles as well. So I see it as a big, big key to helping me try to develop what we have been trying to accomplish. over the past 20 years. “

Nobles athletic director Alex Gallagher coached Hayes when he was a member of the school’s varsity baseball team. And while he might not have been as good on the diamond as he was on the ice, Hayes made an impact that went beyond runs and hits.

“The guys who played hockey for him when he was at the top level thought he was a great teammate who brought out the best in his team. And I think the guys who played baseball with him would say he did the exact same thing. in a very different role on the baseball team, ”said Gallagher.

“He loved to be there, loved to be in uniform, loved to cheer on his teammates. He loved doing whatever he could to help the team be better and be successful,” he continued. “I mean he was just a phenomenal human being.”

The Eire Pub in Dorchester has a special bond with Hayes and his family. Hayes and his younger brother’s swimsuits Kevin, who currently plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, hangs out in the pub.

Pub owner John Stenson said the family’s presence means a lot to the neighborhood and that Hayes will be missed not only by Dorchester but by everyone he has met.

“Jimmy… he would help anyone, he had a wonderful personality,” Stenson said. “If you didn’t know he was playing for the Bruins, you wouldn’t think he was a hockey player. … Not filled with status or anything. He was an ordinary child from Dorchester.

The two Boston College and the Bruins have both made statements about Hayes’ passing.

“Jimmy had an incredible personality that could light up any room. It was really special to see Jimmy represent his hometown in a Bruins jersey,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement.

At Noble and Greenough School, Day said the news of Hayes’ passing hit the community hard.

“Everyone’s pretty pissed off about this obviously,” Day said. “But that’s just a reflection on what a good young man he was, and how much everyone loved him and how much he was able to do to build relationships in his far too short life.”


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