NHL All Star Game Kevin Hayes grants brother Jimmy a wish

NHL All-Star Game: Kevin Hayes grants brother Jimmy a wish

SUNRISE | There are always human stories behind a name and number on the back of a sweater. At the All-Star Game, Kevin Hayes embodies that reality.

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At 30, Hayes is the only Philadelphia Flyers representative to compete in his first All-Star Classic. But there is more than just an invitation.

On August 23, 2021, Hayes went through the grief of losing his big brother, Jimmy.

Jimmy, a former winger for the Blackhawks, Panthers, Bruins and Devils, was found dead at his home in Milton, Massachusetts. A few months later, an autopsy on the body revealed that he had overdosed on fentanyl and cocaine.

The Hayes brothers’ father confided in the Boston Globe to open up about Jimmy’s addiction to painkillers. He wanted to make other athletes aware of the dangers of this practice.

On the eve of the skill competition, Kevin had a smile on his face as he remembered one of his big brother’s last old people.

“You’ve probably heard my story. But my brother had told me before his tragic departure that one day he wanted to see me at an All-Star game. He felt it was a logical step in my career. I have fulfilled his wish. I am happy. »

With his nephew

In 50 games this season with the Flyers, Hayes has 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists). He is one of John Tortorella’s offensive engines.

For his presence in Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise in Florida, Hayes invited his three-year-old nephew Beau.

“It’s my first All-Star game, it’s a pretty cool moment,” he recalled. Beau is with me, he is happy. He doesn’t know all the players, but some of us. I think it’s amazing to be able to share this week with my family. Like his father Jimmy, Beau really loves hockey. »

“I went through two very strange years. There was the death of Jimmy, who was my brother and my best friend, but I also sustained multiple injuries. I spent a lot of time in the infirmary. This All Star Game nomination is a great gift for all the work I’ve done. I thank those around me: my fiancee, my friends and my family. »