Boston, MA

Boston native Jimmy Hayes, died from fentanyl and cocaine

Xin Xin

It has been weeks since Jimmy Hayes died, and now the family is speaking to the public so that Jimmy's story can help someone struggling from substance abuse.

Former Bruins winger and Dorchester native Jimmy Hayes, who was found dead in his Milton home Aug. 23, died with fentanyl and cocaine in his system, his wife and father revealed Sunday.

He had it all.

From the outside, it looked like Jimmy Hayes had it all. But having it all doesn't stop anyone from spiraling down the rabbit hole.

Even after his retirement, everything was looking great for Jimmy. He is a father of two boys. He has a loving wife, a family who is cheering for him as he gets busy helping the community and podcasting.

Hayes had a seven-year NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils. His brother, Kevin Hayes, currently plays for the Philadelphia Flyers.

His wife Kristen Hayes got hold of the toxicology report Friday when she and her family were en route to New Jersey for a pregame tribute to Hayes at the Blackhawks-Devils game.

The medical examiner said the cause of death is "acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine."

While Kristen and some of Jimmy's friends are shocked by the new development, Jimmy's father isn't, and his statement is as heartbreaking to hear, especially from a father who himself had been addicted to substances.

“I’m an addict myself,’’ said the 66-year-old father of five. “I’m sober a long, long time, but I know how powerful this stuff is. I was in shock when it happened, but then I started putting stuff together in my head . . . I know what addiction does. I know about addiction.
“About maybe 16 or 17 months ago, I saw a little change in Jimmy’s behavior and I went to him and I said, ‘I think there might be a problem here with pills.’ He had had an injury for a while and I think he started taking the painkillers and they get you.
“I said, ‘Jim, I think I see a problem here.’ And he’s 31 years old so I can’t tell him to go get help. So I said, ‘When you want help, I’ll be here for you, pal. Let me know.’

The past 18 to 20 months have been bad for most of us. There is so much confusion surrounding the pandemic that even a happy family may not be enough for some, or a roof over their heads or food to eat.

Rest in Love, Jimmy Hayes.

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