PHILADELPHIA The tattoo runs along Kevin Hayes left forearm, a permanent reminder of what the Flyers center is missing, a solemn quote overlaid by a thick, script J for his late brother that serves as an indelible tribute to a bond he believes isnt broken, merely changed.
The inscription Hayes never wanted to get reads: Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
At just 31, former NHL player Jimmy Hayes, married for three years and a father of two young boys, was found dead this summer inside his family home. Kevin says his brother was healthy and happy. He said he had no reason to believe anything suspicious about his brothers cause of death, which has not been determined.
Nearly two months later, the idea of starting a season without his brother weighs on Kevin.
We were best friends our whole life, Kevin said.
Through bowling and baseball as kids to homecoming clashes at TD Garden, the Hayes brothers were as tight as a double knot; Kevin in step with big brother Jimmy, a couple of kids from Bostons largest neighborhood who attended the same boarding school, same college and, ultimately, played head-to-head in the NHL.
They were part of a five-sibling Irish family from Dorchester, and everyone knew celebrity they shared a bloodline with cousins who made the NHL was destined for the boys.
They became stars at Boston College and both reached the NHL. The brothers lived together, trained together, golfed together, could be the life of the party together and were in each others corners, even as Kevin developed into a top-line center while Jimmys career ended in the minors after parts of seven NHL seasons.
I think he accepted we were different players, that I was a little bit more skilled than he was, said Kevin, in the third season of a $50 million, seven-year deal with the Flyers. But I swear there was no more bigger supporter of me than my brother. He told everyone how good I was.
In August, Kevin stood behind to a lectern inside a jammed Catholic parish church, steeled his nerves and told mourners about the man he considered his hero. He choked back tears as he spoke about a time his brother met with a cancer-stricken child named Michael McHugh Jr. and brought him into the Bruins locker room.
Jimmy stayed with Michael, taking pictures, giving him sticks, and giving him a bunch of Bruins swag, Kevin said. Unfortunately, Michael passed away just a month later. His dad told us it was the greatest night of his sons short life. Michael loved Jimmy and he felt for the first time that he didnt have cancer that night. His dad was awestruck by Jimmys kindness and was so grateful that Jimmy gave Michael one of the happiest days of his life.
Kevin, now the big brother, stayed home as long as he could with his family and that of his brothers widow, Kristen.
It was tough being in Boston because everyone knows us, he said. I couldnt go get coffee or go for a walk without someone awkwardly staring at me, wanting to say sorry or give me a hug. It just kind of got draining. Instead of just sitting on my parents coach or Kristens house the whole time, it was nice to actually get back and look forward to the season.
Kevin is back in Philadelphia, hanging with his teammates and participating in meetings at the teams training facility in Voorhees, N.J. He missed the season opener Friday night, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Hes likely to miss another few weeks following abdominal surgery.
Hayes skates at the rink but misses the FaceTime chats with Jimmy on the 20-minute ride home. He admires how strong Kristen has remained for sons Beau and Mac through the tragedy.
I lost my best friend and my brother. She lost her husband and her father to her kids, Kevin said. Its tough. I can accept what happened, that my brothers gone and he died. Im 29 years old and I understand what death is. The thing that I cant get my head around, the whole, not to get spiritual, but God. Being mad at God.
I dont understand how those two kids dont have a dad anymore. I cant accept that. I dont think I ever will.
He pauses, and adds, But I also look at God sending different messages.
A season after missing the playoffs, the Flyers added Dorchester native, Hayes family friend and NHL iron man Keith Yandle along with Jimmys Boston College roommate, Cam Atkinson. Two guys who knew the Hayes brothers from back in the day now share a line; Yandle and Hayes are roommates.
The Flyers center called it a sign that both players found their way to Philly in the wake of tragedy.
We both dont like to be alone, so we are able to hang out every day, Yandle said. It will be good, too, especially during the season to be able to sit down and watch games. I think it is going to be a lot of fun. We watch a lot of TV, a lot of couch time and a lot of laughs.
Kevin is a fan favorite in Philly and won the team award for player who showed the most heart, had a beer brewed in his honor and turned the Flyers into contenders in 2020.
As you develop as a team and do the team bonding stuff, Kevin is a huge part of that for us, Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk said. He is the life of the locker room in that sense. People tend to gravitate toward him and love being around him.
Kevin wears a bracelet with his brothers initials. That tattoo also has his brothers No. 11 and his birth and death dates. Kevin vowed to keep his brothers legacy alive through his nephews, and those who loved him best.
Playing in his honor this season isnt enough: Kevin has dedicated his life to his brother, living with the unyielding faith that the tight, brotherly bond in life is unbreakable in death.
See the original post:
- Jill Duggar shows off her fresh haircut & teases big changes after reality star revealed she may get a... - The Sun - November 23rd, 2021
- 30 things to know about The Pyramid as the Memphis landmark turns 30 - Commercial Appeal - November 9th, 2021
- They created monsters: How New Zealands brutal welfare system produced criminals - The Guardian - October 29th, 2021
- Alone, starved and living with a brothers corpse. Why did no one save the Texas house of horror boys? - The Independent - October 29th, 2021
- Local Kan. elections getting taken over by bruising DC-style politics - Hays Post - October 29th, 2021
- Leaked Video Helped Lead to the Conviction of a Far Right "Proud Boy" - Truthout - October 17th, 2021
- The Skys The Limit, On And Off The Court, And These Girls Have Got Next - CBS Chicago - October 17th, 2021
- 8 Best Places To Get A Tattoo for Both Men and Women - TheTealMango - October 5th, 2021
- Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff: Sebastien Thill has tattoo of himself dreaming of the UCL - GIVEMESPORT - October 5th, 2021
- #BlackInkChi Recap: Ryan Confronts Former Friend After Sleeping With His Ex, Twitter Says Hes For The Streets - HipHopWired - October 5th, 2021
- Review: At the Hella Mega Tour it was all about the cult of Green Day - pacificsandiego.com - September 1st, 2021
- Matt Willis is removing his tattoos in a bid to bag top movie roles... - The Sun - August 20th, 2021
- Lauren Phillips Reveals The Matching 'Bad Tattoo' She Has With A Scottish Boy - KIIS1011 - August 20th, 2021
- R Kelly trial hears singer is a 'predator' who lured girls, boys and young women with his fame - ABC News - August 20th, 2021
- Why Jonah Hills body love tattoo is so important for the male body positive movement - Yahoo Life - August 6th, 2021
- What's New to Stream on Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+ and More in July 2021 - TV Guide - July 22nd, 2021
- Love Island: What tattoos does Danny Bibby have and what do they mean? - Metro.co.uk - July 22nd, 2021
- Capitol riot suspect arrested after giant tattoo revealed on video - The Independent - June 9th, 2021
- The Sacred Male Body Modification Practices That Still Exist Today - InsideHook - May 16th, 2021
- `We were never terrorists`: Proud Boys Canada officially dissolved` - WION - May 4th, 2021
- Farmer Boys celebrating 40th anniversary with free burger tattoo - KTNV Las Vegas - April 19th, 2021
- Here are the nine men from Hudson Valley charged with participating in Jan. 6 Capitol riot - Times Herald-Record - April 19th, 2021
- Crowdfunding Hate in the Name of Christ - The Nation - April 4th, 2021
- Guest Opinion | Reflections on the course Women Unknown: Fight for Independence - UI The Daily Iowan - April 4th, 2021
- Part 3: How a Trini played a role in the life of Nipsey Hussle - Loop News Trinidad and Tobago - April 4th, 2021
- We want to keep him alive Family, friends remember San Antonios Tito Bradshaw two years later - San Antonio Express-News - April 4th, 2021
- Quick on the draw: Castagna the chaotic Tiger with a tattoo gun - The Age - April 4th, 2021
- Love Island Australias Phoebe Thompson reveals WAP lip tattoo as she celebrates birthday - The Irish Sun - March 8th, 2021
- Brave, Powerful, Complicated: The Most Formidable Heroines In Film - British Vogue - March 8th, 2021
- Jaden Hill is LSU's ace pitcher who has a bigger calling in life: 'I'm chosen to help people' - The Advocate - February 19th, 2021
- Gangland: a book about meth and the people whose lives it touches - The Spinoff - February 17th, 2021
- SA tattoo artist to the stars on taking his skill abroad - News24 - February 14th, 2021
- Memories of dad help make University of Houston's Justin Gorham a rebounding machine - Houston Chronicle - February 11th, 2021
- Tauranga's strongest head to the Highlands - The Bay's News First - SunLive - February 6th, 2021
- Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys Got His Paris Hilton Tattoo Just 3 Week Before They Broke up - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - January 30th, 2021
- 2 Green Country Women Share Stories Through Tattoo Ink; Competing In National Contest - News On 6 - January 30th, 2021
- Gangs? Cliques? Subgroups? Call Them What You Will There've Been 18 (Yes, 18) In The LA Sheriff's Department - LAist - January 22nd, 2021
- Trump's useful thugs: how the Republican party offered a home to the Proud Boys - The Guardian - January 22nd, 2021
- Proud Boys among groups being watched as inauguration approaches. Do they have Northeast Ohio ties? - Akron Beacon Journal - January 20th, 2021
- Who are Proud Boys? The Western chauvinist far-right group explained and what Donald Trump has previously said about them - The Scotsman - January 15th, 2021
- Theyve been hidden too long: Report details Los Angeles Sheriffs deputy gangs and violence toward communities of color - East Bay Times - January 15th, 2021
- Hawaii Proud Boy Charged By DOJ After Raiding US Capitol - Honolulu Civil Beat - January 9th, 2021
- Swimming With My Shirt Off - The New York Times - January 9th, 2021
- How the Internet Reflected on and Coped With the Capitol Attack - Hyperallergic - January 9th, 2021
- The Weekly-ish Mailbag is mailing it in this week. - Off Tackle Empire - December 31st, 2020
- Four months before her wedding, Mary knew it was over - Sydney Morning Herald - December 19th, 2020
- Family, determination and a dream: The Real Woods story - The Stanford Daily - December 16th, 2020
- Skating solo gives me time to study everyone else on the rink - The Globe and Mail - December 16th, 2020
- LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS: Price is Right Live show rescheduled - Goshen News - December 16th, 2020
- Controversial Mom Made One Of Her Twin Toddlers Get A Tattoo For Very Important Reason - BabyGaga - December 11th, 2020
- Mum of twins tattoos one so she can tell them apart leaving mother-in-law fuming - Daily Star - December 11th, 2020
- Farmingtons mayor of 12 years memorializes his experience in tattoo - TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press - December 8th, 2020
- Im A Celebrity superfan gets tattoo of Ant and Dec at Gwrych Castle inked onto his thigh - The Sun - December 1st, 2020
- MacAdam: Fascination with Mike Tyson began in Albany - The Daily Gazette - November 27th, 2020
- 'Home town boys' return to Philippi Main Street - The Inter-Mountain - November 20th, 2020
- The Post-Election Proud Boys Meltdown Is Here, and It's Ugly - The Daily Beast - November 12th, 2020
- I just want to be with my friends: how will children cope with being cooped up again in second lockdown? - The Guardian - November 9th, 2020
- 240+ Inspirational & Meaningful One Word Tattoos (2020 ... - November 6th, 2020
- 75+ Best Small Tattoos For Men (2020) - Simple Cool ... - November 6th, 2020
- Tickets for sale in Snohomish County and around the region - The Daily Herald - November 5th, 2020
- Seances, tattoos and the unbreakable bond between Mikaela Mayer and Al Mitchell - ESPN - October 30th, 2020
- Students rediscover their childhood fandoms on TikTok - Daily Northwestern - October 29th, 2020
- Chase Winovich talks playing time, conspiracy theories with Zolak & Bertrand - 98.5 The Sports Hub - October 22nd, 2020
- The Cycle of Punitive Justice Starts in Schools. Eric Butler Is Showing Kids and Teachers How to Break It. - Mother Jones - October 21st, 2020
- The Proud Boys? - SOFREP - October 16th, 2020
- Theatre Alliance to perform outdoor production of Devil Boys from Beyond - Yes! Weekly - October 16th, 2020
- Freshers' Flu - Why My Mum Invented COVID - Cherwell Online - October 10th, 2020
- Who Are the Proud Boys Trump Told To 'Stand Back and Stand By'? - Snopes.com - October 8th, 2020
- Dan Osbornes tattoo shows hes protective of Jacqueline Jossa & the meaning behind Brooklyn Beckhams spoo - The Sun - October 7th, 2020
- When the Proud Boys came to town - The Economist - October 7th, 2020
- The ten essential facts you need to know about BTS's Suga - Film Daily - October 6th, 2020
- 30 Best Neck Tattoos for Boys and Girls - The Best Tattoo ... - September 30th, 2020
- Best 100+ Tattoo Designs For Men and Boys - Youme And Trends - September 30th, 2020
- Who are the Proud Boys, the extremist group Trump named in the debate - Insider - INSIDER - September 30th, 2020
- Fred Perry Will Denounce Proud Boys, But The President Won't - Highsnobiety - September 30th, 2020
- Hooligans With Heart: Phoenix Risings Red Fury fan club reaches out to refugees - Cronkite News - September 30th, 2020
- Whats New on Netflix UK & Top 10s: September 30th, 2020 - What's on Netflix - September 30th, 2020
- From the Fields: Soaking it up now | agrinews-pubs.com - Agri News - September 30th, 2020
- Who are the Proud Boys and why did Trump tell them to stand by? - The Irish Sun - September 30th, 2020
- The Giant Proud Boy Rally That Wasn't - VICE - September 28th, 2020