Jimmy Hayes' wife, Kristen, wrote an emotional note on her Instagram Story following his death

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Kristen Hayes paid tribute to her husband, former NHL player Jimmy Hayes, a day after he died at their home in Massachusetts.

"My angel I love you so much," Kristen wrote on her Instagram Story, which was posted alongside a picture of Hayes holding the couple's two sons, three-month-old Mac, and 2-year-old Beau. "I miss you. I don't know how I'm going to do life without you."

"You should be here," she added. "This isn't fair."

Jimmy Hayes
Jimmy Hayes, wife Kristen and their son
| Credit: Jimmy Hayes/instagram

A law enforcement official told The Boston Globe that Hayes was pronounced dead at his home on Monday, a short time after the family celebrated Beau's second birthday the day before.

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Hayes — born Nov. 21, 1989 — is a Massachusetts native, and played hockey at Boston College and helped lead them to a national championship in 2010, according to the NHL. He was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008 but was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 while playing for Boston College.

Jimmy Hayes
Jimmy Hayes
| Credit: Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty

After a slow start to his NHL career, Hayes was traded from the Blackhawks to the Florida Panthers, where he was finally able to play a full season and showcase his talents. His production eventually caught the eye of his hometown Boston Bruins, who traded for him in 2015, and signed him to a three-year contract.

Hayes' NHL career ended during the 2018-2019 season after he was assigned to the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

According to the New York Post, Hayes is the first cousin of NHL stars Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames and Brady Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators.

"Completely speechless and heartbroken!" Tkachuk wrote on Twitter after the news of Jimmy's death. "Wish I had the chance to tell Jimmy how much Brady and I looked up to him and Kevin throughout all the years, I know that Beau and Mac will grow up with the same larger-than-life and loving personality that he had! Rest easy!"

"Thinking about Big Kev, Shelagh, Kristen, Beau, Mac, Gen, Eileen, Justine, and Kevin extra more today!" he added.

The Bruins also paid tribute to their former player.

"The Boston Bruins are heartbroken by the passing of Dorchester native and former Bruin Jimmy Hayes," they wrote in a tweet. "Our thoughts are with his wife Kristen, his sons Beau and Mac, and the entire Hayes family during this very difficult time."