If you’ve started to notice more and more neighbors walking around Adams Corner sporting the distinctive red jerseys of the Chicago Blackhawks this week, there’s a very good reason for the otherwise treasonous offense: Dot’s own Jimmy Hayes made his regular season NHL debut last Friday night for the Blackhawks during a home game against the Detroit Red Wings.
The 6’-6” Dorchester native was “impressive” in his 8:23 minutes of playing time, according to the Blackhawks fan site CommittedIndians.com.
On Monday, Hayes marked another milestone: His first NHL goal, scored in a game against the Edmonton Oilers.
“It was a huge thrill and I was happy to get it out of the way,” Hayes told reporters.
Hayes, who skated for the Boston College Eagles last year alongside his brother Kevin, had been playing — and playing well— for the Blackhawks minor league affilate, the Rockford Icehogs. He had notched 18 points, including 5 goals, in 28 games for the Rockford team before being called up to the bigs last Thursday.
According to an article on the Blackhawks’ team website, Jimmy called his dad, Kevin Hayes, Sr., to tell him the good news.
“He said ‘Dad, I’m in the lineup Friday night…’ It was like talking with a 10-year-old boy,” Kevin, Sr. told Kelsey Peters the chicagoblackhawks.com. “It was just really exciting. It’s a dream come true for him – and for me. I knew I couldn’t miss it; I had to come.”
The Hayes family flew out to Chicago for the game, which the Blackhawks won, 3-2.
“Watching my son playing out there, it’s 100 times better than I thought it’d be,” Kevin, Sr. told the team site. “There’s a bar back in Boston called the Eire Pub, and there’s 400 people watching.”
Jimmy’s younger brother Kevin, who skates for the BC Eagles and has also been drafted by the Blackhawks, watched the game on TV.
Hayes got good reviews from his head coach, Joel Quenneville, who told the team site, “He didn’t play a ton but I thought it was a good first game for him.”