'So sad': Fans shattered by former NHL star's tragic death at 31

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Jimmy Hayes is seen here during his time with the New Jersey Devils in the NHL. Pic: Getty
Jimmy Hayes is seen here during his time with the New Jersey Devils in the NHL. Pic: Getty

Ice Hockey fans have been left devastated by the tragic death of popular former NHL star, Jimmy Hayes, at the age of 31.

Hayes - a towering right-winger who played at four different NHL franchises during his career - passed away at his home in Massachusetts on Monday morning.

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The cause of death has not been made public, but first responders reportedly went to Hayes’ home in Milton, Massachusetts where he was pronounced dead on the scene.

The death is not considered to be suspicious.

Hayes is survived by his wife, Kristen, and two young sons, Beau and Mac. 

In addition to his wife and children, Hayes leaves behind four siblings: Jennifer, Eileen, Justine, and Kevin, a centre for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jimmy Hayes is seen here with his wife and one of his two young children.
Jimmy Hayes leaves behind a wife and two young children. Pic: Instagram

Hayes last played professionally in 2018/19 for the Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton Penguins, the AHL affiliate of Pittsburgh.

Before that, he played in a total of 334 games in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, and his hometown Boston Bruins.

Hayes is being remembered as an affable character whose personality touched the lives of those around him.

“Jimmy was a guy who had you laughing before he delivered the punch line,” said Pete Albietz, the New Jersey Devils’ vice president of communications and team operations.

The Bruins released a statement expressing their shock and devastation over Hayes' death, while passing on their condolences to the 31-year-old's family.

“The Boston Bruins are heartbroken by the passing of Dorchester native and former Bruin Jimmy Hayes," the statement read.

"Our thoughts are with his wife Kristen, his sons Beau and Mac, and the entire Hayes family during this very difficult time.”

While he wasn’t able to find stability in the NHL, he did find glory early on, winning a National Championship with the Boston College Eagles in 2010.

Hockey world rocked by Jimmy Hayes' death

News of Hayes' tragic death has left the hockey world shattered, with tributes pouring in on social media for the popular player.

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Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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