Late NHL player Jimmy Hayes has died with fentanyl and cocaine in his body – .

Late NHL player Jimmy Hayes has died with fentanyl and cocaine in his body – .

Former NHL player Jimmy Hayes had fentanyl and cocaine in his system when he died last August, his family revealed in an interview with The Boston Globe.
In the interview, Hayes’ widow Kristen and father Kevin say they hope sharing their family’s experience will help others avoid a similar tragedy.

“I hope that broadcasting Jimmy’s story can save someone’s life,” said Kevin Hayes. “If that can save someone from pain, so much the better. It’s so sad. “

Jimmy Hayes, 31, was found unconscious at his home outside of Boston on August 23. The six-foot-five forward has played with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils during his seven-year NHL career. His younger brother, Kevin Hayes Jr., is a forward for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Kevin Hayes Sr. told The Globe his late son sought treatment for a pill addiction, which developed after he started taking pain relievers to recover from an injury.

“I’m an addict myself,” said Hayes Sr. “I’ve been sober for a long, long time, but I know how powerful this stuff is. I was in shock when it happened, but then I started to put stuff together in my head… I know what addiction does. I know about addiction.

“Maybe 16 or 17 months ago I saw a little change in Jimmy’s behavior and I went to see him and I said ‘I think there might be a problem here with the pills. . ‘ He had had an injury for a while and I think he started taking pain relievers and they get you.

“I said, ‘Jim, I think I see a problem here.’ And he’s 31 so I can’t tell him to go get help. So I said, ‘When you want help, I’ll be there for you, mate. Let me know.’

“He called me three weeks later and said, ‘Daddy, I’m addicted to these pills. I hurt myself and started taking them and I never stopped. ‘ And I said, ‘Well, let’s go help you.’ He went to a place in Haverhill. So he got help and it was all on the road to recovery, I thought. But this (expletive) is so powerful. “

Hayes’ death sent shockwaves through the tight-knit New England hockey community and the entire NHL community. More than 8,000 people attended his vigil and the Devils and Blackhawks both honored him when they met in a game earlier this week.

While nothing can bring Hayes back, I hope his story can save someone else.


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