Just devastating news this afternoon out of Massachusetts, as former Chicago Blackhawk and Rockford IceHogs forward Jimmy Hayes has passed away. He was 31-years-old.
We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Jimmy Hayes.
His warm personality made an immediate impact in the locker room and with our fans. We’re proud of the memories he made in Chicago, including making his NHL debut in 2011. Sending our thoughts and prayers to his family❤️ pic.twitter.com/gP8357luB9
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) August 23, 2021
According to multiple reports, area law enforcement and first responders went to Hayes’s home in Milton, MA, where he was pronounced dead. His death is not considered suspicious and the cause of death has not been determined. Hayes could be seen in posts made on his wife Kristen’s Instagram page late on Sunday night with his family, celebrating his son Beau’s birthday.
Anyone from the Boston area knows just how much the Hayes family means to the hockey scene around here, and Jimmy was pretty much unanimously beloved by everyone. May as well have been a god in Dorchester. Can't really put into words how devastating this is for the community
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) August 23, 2021
Hayes was a National Champion at Boston College in 2010 and signed with the Blackhawks in 2011 following the end of his college career. He made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks on December 30th, 2011. Over the course of seven NHL seasons, Hayes played with the Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils, skating in 334 NHL games. He also played portions of multiple seasons with the Rockford IceHogs, Binghampton Devils, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, skating 195 career AHL games.
Hayes was widely regarded as an incredible teammate and a total “locker room guy.” Following the end of his playing career, Hayes began to co-host a hockey podcast called “Missin Curfew” along with Shane O’Brien and Scottie Upshall.
They shared their sentiments as well on Monday following the news…
In addition to his wife and children (Beau and Mac), Hayes leaves four siblings, Genevieve, Eileen, Justine, and Kevin; and parents Shelagh and Kevin Sr. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hayes family.