Reports surfaced early Monday that former NHLer Jimmy Hayes had passed away unexpectedly at the age of 31. Some tweets reporting this information have been deleted, but respected broadcaster John Buccigross has since confirmed that Jimmy is no longer with us.
Hayes was drafted back in 2008 by the Toronto Maple Leafs and played in over 300 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils. He also played a few stints in the AHL, most recently with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins back in 2018/2019.
Current Penguin Brian Dumoulin was actually spending time with Jimmy Hayes and his family just yesterday. The two were teammates at Boston College and were close friends. You can see them together in the second picture of this Instagram post. It's a dark reminder of how quickly things can change.
Lot's of people have been sharing their condolences about Jimmy's passing on social media already. He leaves behind his wife Kristen and their two young boys. Just an absolutely devastating piece of news for his family, friends and the hockey community.