Jimmy Hayes, a former right winger for the Bruins, died unexpectedly Monday morning.
Hayes, a 6-foot-5-inch, 215-pound Dorchester native, played 334 games in the NHL for four teams, including the Bruins from 2015-17. He also played at Boston College, helping the Eagles win the national championship in 2010.
After news of his death broke, the hockey community shared an outpouring of grief.
The Bruins offered their thoughts to Hayes’s wife, Kristen, and his two sons.
Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron issued a statement through the team:
“It was a pleasure getting to know Jimmy, and he was such a joy to be around both on and off the ice,” Bergeron said. “I’ll always remember his big smile — he was so positive and full of life. I’m really going to miss that. We’ve lost a great person.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs, who selected Hayes in the second round of of the 2008 NHL Draft, said Hayes was “known for his character and kindness around the league.”
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Maple Leafs draft pick, Jimmy Hayes.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 23, 2021
Known for his character and kindness around the league, Jimmy will be dearly missed by all.
Our thoughts are with the entire Hayes family during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/T9lPlBBy0E
Hayes made his NHL debut in 2011 with the Chicago Blackhawks, appearing in 43 games with the organization. The Blackhawks said Hayes’s “warm personality made an immediate impact in the locker room and with our fans.”
We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Jimmy Hayes.— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) August 23, 2021
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
Hayes’s most productive season came in 2014-15, when he scored 19 goals with 16 assists for the Florida Panthers. David Dwork, who covers the Panthers for WPLG Local 10 News, called Hayes “an amazingly nice man.”
Hayes played 33 games for the Devils in 2017-18. Calgary Flames forward Blake Coleman, his teammate in New Jersey, offered a touching tribute, saying Hayes “always brought a smile to the rink.”
When I think of a “locker room guy” I think of Jimmy “Broadway” Hayes. Very devastating news, he will be missed by so many, he always brought a smile to the rink in our time together in New Jersey. Our thoughts are with Kristen and their 2 young boys. Rest In Peace bud 🙏🏼 https://t.co/UOX7jIdL64— Blake Coleman (@BColes25) August 23, 2021
A reporter for the Devils shared photos from a theme night in New Jersey, saying Hayes was “such a character around the room.”
I am stunned at the loss so suddenly of Jimmy Hayes.— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) August 23, 2021
He was such a character around the room, always up for a good time & kept everyone laughing.
Wont ever forget this hilarious time in the #NJDevils locker room, prepping for a theme night.
Just terribly tragic.
RIP Broadway. pic.twitter.com/gjvj6jJb4t
The Flames said Hayes was “Known around the league for his kindness and generosity, he will be greatly missed.”
Our deepest condolences go out the family and friends of Jimmy Hayes.— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) August 23, 2021
Known around the league for his kindness and generosity, he will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace Jimmy ❤️
Hayes finished his professional career with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pa. (2018-19).
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former @WBSPenguins forward, Jimmy Hayes.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) August 23, 2021
The Penguins organization sends our thoughts and prayers to Jimmy's family, friends, and former teammates during this extremely difficult time. pic.twitter.com/A6SnLi9oeN
In three seasons at Chestnut Hill, Hayes had 42 goals and 39 assists. As a sophomore in the 2009-10 season, the Eagles won the Beanpot, the Hockey East tournament, and the NCAA tournament. The school paid tribute to him, posting a picture of Hayes hoisting the NCAA trophy on its Twitter account.
Many from the college hockey community paid their respects, including some of BC’s biggest rivals on the ice.
Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.