Flyers' Hayes hopes to draw strength from late brother Jimmy this season
Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes took a moment to acknowledge his late brother Jimmy while speaking to the media for the first time at camp Friday. One thing is for certain: Jimmy will be on Kevin's mind all season long.
"It's gonna be weird stepping on the ice for the first time knowing that my brother's not there. I'm sure a lot of people say this, but he honestly was my biggest supporter," Kevin said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi.
He added, "It's something that I'll miss, and it's something that I think will really push me this year when I'm having bad days or bad games, or not playing up to how the fans want me to here. I'll probably just think of my brother and he'll, hopefully, push me through."
Jimmy died in August at the age of 31. Kevin paid tribute to him the day after his death, calling Jimmy his "best friend."
Kevin admitted Friday that he doesn't think his life will ever be the same without Jimmy, who seemed to have a knack for standing up for his younger brother.
"If I had a bad game, (Jimmy said) it was (Alain Vigneault's) fault, not mine. If I wasn't playing a lot of minutes, he wanted to talk to AV, he wanted to talk to Chuck (Fletcher)," Kevin joked.
Above all, Kevin said he was "totally taken aback" from the support he's continuously received from the hockey community.
"It is really nice being in Philly with these guys and being around the team," he said.