Jimmy Hayes – Heartbroken pals tribute to NHL star who was ‘a joy on & off the ice’ after death just after becoming dad

DEVASTATED friends of Jimmy Hayes have paid tribute to the NHL star who they said was a "joy on and off the ice".

The athlete, 31, was found dead on Monday – just three months after becoming a dad.

Hayes played for the Boston Bruins between 2015 and 2017 after spells with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, and New Jersey Devils.

Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said Hayes was a “joy” on and off the rink, People reports.

He said: “I'll always remember his big smile – he was so positive and full of life.

“I’m going to really miss that. We’ve lost a great person.”

Hayes’ former side the Chicago Blackhawks said in a statement: "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.”

Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane tweeted: "RIP Jimmy Hayes. One of my favorite teammates ever."

Boston College said: “Boston College Hockey is heartbroken over the passing of Jimmy Hayes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hayes family.”

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