Report: Former NHL player Jimmy Hayes, 31, had fentanyl, cocaine in system at time of death

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Former college hockey star and NHL player Jimmy Hayes had fentanyl and cocaine in his system at the time of his Aug. 23 death at the age of 31, two of his relatives told the Boston Globe.

His wife, Kristen, said she received the toxicology report on Friday.

“I was completely shocked,’’ she told the newspaper. “I was so certain that it had nothing to do with drugs. I really thought it was a heart attack or anything that wasn’t that [drugs]. ... He never showed any signs of a struggle at home.’’

Jimmy was found dead in his Massachusetts home a day after the family celebrated their son's second birthday. The couple also has a younger son.

Jimmy's father, Kevin, told the Globe that Jimmy had told him last year about his issues and that he later received treatment.

Jimmy Hayes played in the NHL for parts of seven seasons.
Jimmy Hayes played in the NHL for parts of seven seasons.

TRIBUTE: Jimmy Hayes 'was a giant of a young guy' with a huge heart

"(He) said, ‘Dad, I’m hooked on these pills. I got injured and I started taking them and I never got off.’ And I said, ‘Well, let’s get you some help.’ He went to a place up in Haverhill (Massachusetts)," Kevin said. "So he gets help and everything was on the path to recovery, I thought. But this [expletive] is so powerful.’’

The popular Boston native won a national title with Boston College in 2010. He played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils during his seven years in the NHL, recording 54 goals and 55 assists.

Jimmy – whose brother, Kevin, plays for the Philadelphia Flyers – retired after playing in the American Hockey League in 2018-19. He recently had co-hosted a podcast with two other former NHL players.

His father said he hoped people would remember Jimmy's charitable side and he was coming forward with the toxicology results in hopes that it could help other people.

"If this can save someone from the pain, great," he said. "It’s just so sad. ... You have a beautiful, All-American boy who made a terrible mistake and it cost him his life.’’

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jimmy Hayes death: Fentanyl was in his system, family members said

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