‘Yesterday I lost my best friend, my brother’

Flyers forward Kevin Hayes says he lost his
Flyers forward Kevin Hayes says he lost his “best friend” when his older brother and former NHLer Jimmy Hayes died Monday at the age of 31. (Instagram/kphayes12)

One day after the sudden death of his brother — and former NHLer — Jimmy Hayes, Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes posted a heart-wrenching Instagram post in honour of his “best friend.” 

“Yesterday I lost my best friend, my brother. My whole life it has always been ‘Jimmy and Kevin,’ or ‘the Hayes brothers.’ I have followed you around since I can remember and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Whether it was youth hockey, Nobles, Boston College or the NHL, you paved the way for me. You taught me everything I need to know in order to succeed,” he wrote.

Aside from being his hockey role model, Kevin highlighted Jimmy’s robust personality and zest for life, while posting several photos of the two sharing time and special moments together.

“You lit up every single room you walked into with your smile and positive attitude. Everyone wanted to be around Jim, the big, goofy, horrible dancer, funny, genuine and kindest person around. I will never forget the times we shared or the memories we made and know that I will try my hardest to have your legacy live on. Our world lost someone special and I don’t know if I will ever be the same but till we meet again, I LOVE YOU JIM!”

On Monday, paramedics were called to Jimmy Hayes’ home near Boston where he was pronounced dead. No other details were disclosed.

Jimmy, who is three years older than Kevin, was selected 60th overall by the Maple Leafs out of Boston College in 2008. He was traded to the Blackhawks where he made his NHL debut in late 2011. He later fulfilled a dream and suited up for his hometown Bruins, skating in 133 games in two seasons with Boston. 

Adding stops in Florida and New Jersey, Jimmy Hayes put up 109 total points in 334 NHL games before playing his last professional campaign in 2018-19 with Wilkes-Barre Scranton of the AHL. 

Hayes was also a beloved member of the ‘Missin Curfew’ podcast. He leaves behind his wife, Kristen, and two young sons, Beau and Mac.

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