NHL: Jimmy Hayes honored by young hockey players in hometown funeral

The town of Dorchester, Massachusetts said goodbye to hometown hero Jimmy Hayes. It was a tearful ceremony as his loss touched so many.

Hayes’ younger brother, Kevin, plays for the Philadelphia Flyers and honored his memory by recalling a story of how he touched the life of a young boy with cancer.

“After the game, Jimmy brought Michael and his dad into the locker room and asked him who his favorite player was and said, ‘it didn’t have to be me,. Michael said it was David Krejci,” Kevin tearfully recalled. “So Jimmy brought him over to Krejci’s locker and had them hang out together for almost 20 minutes. After meeting his favorite player, Jimmy stayed with Michael, taking pictures and giving him sticks and a bunch of Bruins swag.”

“Unfortunately, Michael passed away just a month later. His dad told us it was the greatest night in his son’s short life,” he continued. “His dad was awestruck by Jimmy’s kindness and was so grateful that Jimmy gave young Michael one of the happiest days of his life.”

Jimmy Hayes passes away at 31

Former NHL player Jimmy Hayes passed away on August 23 at the young age of 31. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

Hayes won an NCAA hockey championship at Boston College in 2010. The school took to social media to express its sympathy after learning of his passing.

“Boston College Hockey is heartbroken over the passing of Jimmy Hayes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hayes family,” BC Hockey posted on Twitter.

Hayes recorded 109 points (54 goals, 55 assists) in 334 career games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils. He was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft.

Hayes last played professionally with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League in 2018-19.

Jimmy was loved by the youth hockey community and they came out to honor him with a stick salute. RIP.

-Field Level Media contributed to this report.