A toxicology report has confirmed that former NHL player Jimmy Hayes had fentanyl and cocaine in his system when he died in August, his wife Kristen Hayes and father Kevin Hayes told Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. The 31-year-old Hayes spent seven years in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, registering 54 goals and 55 assists; his last season in the NHL was back in 2017-2018.
Kristen Hayes told Shaughnessy about receiving the toxicology report Friday: “I was completely shocked. 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 [drugs]. … It didn’t make any sense, so it was hard. I was hoping to get a different phone call when they called. I was hoping to get some clarity and I was shocked to hear that it was that. … He never showed any signs of a struggle at home.” However, Hayes’ father Kevin said he saw a change in his son’s behavior a little over a year ago and reached out to him, which is when Hayes entered treatment. Said Kevin Hayes: “I hope getting Jimmy’s story out there can save someone’s life. If this can save someone from the pain, great. It’s just so sad. I pride myself on being pretty mentally strong. I’m a street guy. But there’s just no formula for this. You have a beautiful, All-American boy who made a terrible mistake and it cost him his life.” Kristen and Jimmy shared two sons together.