Kevin Hayes said he will try his hardest to have his late brother Jimmy’s “legacy live on” in an emotional Instagram tribute to the former NHL player, who died unexpectedly Monday at the age of 31.
The cause of death was not immediately known.
“Yesterday I lost my best friend, my brother,” wrote Kevin, who currently plays for the Flyers. “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 needed to know in order to succeed.”
Kevin, 29, followed his older brother’s footsteps to Boston College, where they played together for one season in 2010-11 before Jimmy made the jump to the professional ranks.
Jimmy most recently played for the Devils in 2018.
Kevin, who also spent five seasons with the Rangers, later described his brother’s impact on him beyond the ice.
“You lit up every single room you walked into with your smile and positive attitude,” Kevin wrote. “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!”
In addition to his brother Kevin, Jimmy leaves behind two young sons along with his wife Kristen, who shared her own emotional post on Tuesday. Jimmy also is survived by three other siblings and his two parents.
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