New Jersey Devils Honor Jimmy Hayes Ahead of Season Opener: 'This Is for You, Broadway'

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Jimmy Hayes
Jimmy Hayes

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Jimmy Hayes' last team is paying tribute to the former NHL player.

Ahead of the season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, the New Jersey Devils shared photos of players and staff wearing a sticker honoring Hayes' memorial clover logo. Instead of the crossed hockey sticks, the team included Hayes' jersey number when he played for the Devils in the 2017-18 season.

"This is for you, Broadway," the team's caption read on Instagram. (Hayes was affectionately known by his nickname Broadway.)

Hayes, 31, was pronounced dead by first responders at his Milton, Massachusetts, home on Aug. 23. Just hours before his death, the father of two celebrated his eldest child Beau's second birthday with loved ones.

The official cause of death remains unconfirmed following an autopsy that was completed days after news of his passing.

RELATED: Jimmy Hayes' Brother Kevin Reflects on 'Being Mad at God' After Former NHL Player's Sudden Death

Hayes, a native of Dorchester, played 334 games over seven years in the NHL for four teams after a successful collegiate career and NCAA championship at Boston College.

In 2008, he was drafted 60th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs and made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011. Two years later, he was traded to the Florida Panthers and eventually played for his hometown club Boston Bruins in 2015. Hayes finished his professional career after one season with the Devils in 2018.

In his post-NHL career, he was a co-host of the Missin Curfew podcast and his last recorded show was in August.

Hayes is survived by his wife Kristen and their two young sons, Beau and Mac, as well as his parents Shelagh and Kevin Sr. and siblings Genevieve, Eileen, Justine and Kevin, who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers.

In an interview with the Associated Press, which was published on Thursday, Kevin spoke about his grief and frustration following his brother's death.

"It's tough," the NHL star said. "I can accept what happened, that my brother's gone and he died. I'm 29 years old and I understand what death is. The thing that I can't get my head around, the whole, not to get spiritual, but God. Being mad at God."

Kevin added, "I don't understand how those two kids don't have a dad anymore. I can't accept that. I don't think I ever will. But I also look at God sending different messages."

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