A medical examiner completed an autopsy of James “Jimmy” Hayes, but the state pathologist was not able to identify what caused the death of the Dorchester native and former Bruins player, an official said Wednesday.
The 31-year-old former NHL and Boston College player died suddenly at his Milton home Monday.
In an e-mail statement, a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner wrote, “OCME has completed an autopsy in this case. The cause and manner of death remain pending and an update is not expected for several weeks when toxicology testing comes back.”
In a fitting tribute to the neighborhood he once called home, visitation will be held Sunday at Florian Hall in Dorchester starting at 1 p.m.
“Jimmy was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, and friend to everyone. His sincere and compassionate heart could be felt by anyone who knew him,” reads an obituary posted by John J. O’Connor & Son Funeral Home. “His infectious smile and laugh lit up every room he walked into. Those who knew Jimmy, even just a little, lost a shining light in their lives.”
Hayes played hockey while growing up in Dorchester and went on to star at BC, where he played on an NCAA championship team. He also won silver medals with Team USA in the 2007 Under-18 World Junior Championship and the 2009 U-20s, and played seven years in the NHL, including two with the Bruins.
“In life Jimmy achieved many things, but one of his proudest accomplishments, alongside being a husband and father, was making his childhood dream of being a professional hockey player come true,” his online obituary reads. “Jimmy lived for hockey at a very young age and was determined to have success within his career. The hockey community brought so much joy to his life.”
Hayes leaves his wife, Kristen, and two sons, Beau, 2, and Mac, three months. On Sunday, they celebrated Beau’s second birthday. Mac was born May 5, the Globe reported.
Hayes also leaves four siblings: Genevieve, Eileen, Justine, and Kevin, and parents Shelagh and Kevin Sr. of Dorchester. The extended family, which has roots in Charlestown and includes other NHL players, is well-known in Boston hockey circles.
“Jimmy will be dearly missed every day by his countless friends and family,” the obituary states. “He is loved here on earth as well as in heaven.”
The family is asking that donations be made to Dorchester Youth Hockey in lieu of flowers.
Visiting hours will be held at Florian Hall Sunday between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. A funeral Mass will be said Monday at St. Ann’s Church in the Neponset section of Dorchester, according to the funeral home.
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