SPORTS BABE OF THE DAY PRESENTS : JIMMY HAYES, FORWARD, FLORIDA PANTHERS, @Jimmy10Hayes on Twitter
Standing at the petite stature of 6’6 and 220lbs, Jimmy Hayes will hardly be overlooked on any NHL ice surface. This gritty power forward hails from the mean streets of Dorchester, MA and is not afraid of mixing things up in front of the net. The 24-year-old winger was traded on November 14 from the Blackhawks to the Panthers in a major deal. He most recently impacted the line up by scoring two goals against his hometown team of the Boston Bruins on March 9th. Needless to say Jimmy is making his name known and finding a home in the warmth of the sunshine state.
21 Questions with Jimmy Hayes
1. Originally drafted by Toronto, you have been traded by a couple different teams- what are your reactions and outlook when you hear such news- most recently being dealt to the Florida Panthers?
Being traded is a huge shock once you hear the news. For me both times I wasn’t prepared to be traded so it can throw you off guard. I always try to take things in a positive way so I tell myself everything happens for a reason. Being dealt to Florida was a great opportunity for me to become an every day NHLer.
2. Not all athletes are class acts with that being said, How do you conduct yourself on and off the ice? Do you consider yourself a role model?
Most professional athletes are viewed as role models so I make sure to conduct myself in a professional manner on and off the ice. You never know who is watching you the your first impression can be a lasting impression.
3. Every player makes their own path toward the NHL, you took the good old college route spending a few years at Boston College, what was one of your best memories at the Heights?
While playing at BC we won several trophies I would have to say winning the national championship in 2010 was the best memory I had at the heights.
4. What has been the toughest hockey related decision you have had to make yet?
The toughest decision for me was leaving college a year early to turn pro. It was such a tough decision to leave my friends and teammates early.
5. You have played in many leagues in your career- Hockey East, AHL and NHL- what was the hardest part about transitioning to each level?
The toughest transition at all levels was the speed. It seems that every level you move up the pace and decision making picks up as well.
6. Assuming that playing hockey has been a lifelong goal of yours — was there ever a team you didn’t make or someone who discouraged your dream along the way? How did you handle that?
I did not make the varsity of my high school team when I was in the 8th grade. I knew I had to continue to work hard and make myslef a better player to make sure that feeling wasn’t going to happen to me again.
7. Does doing live interviews, media and having cameras in your face come easy to you or has it been a bit of an adjustment?
It has been an adjustment for me dealing with the media. The media attention grows even more at every level you play and I remember how nervous I was when I did my interview after I was drafted. My friends still watch it and give me a hard time about it.
8. What’s your pregame routine or any superstitious things that you do?
I am not very superstitious I just do the same routine before every game. Starting with my warm up all the way to the way I get dressed for the game. I always put my right side of equipment on first.
9. If not hockey, what else in life could you see yourself doing?
I could see myself having some sort of position in hockey as management or a coach
10. I know in the off season you workout at Edge Performance Systems in Foxboro Mass. – How much do you think strength and conditioning contributes to your on ice game?
My off ice training is huge for my game. It always me to become a better athlete and that transitions into my on ice performance.
11. Is there a specific coach or coaches who have made an impact on your career?
All three of my college coaches helped me develop my game. They all had huge impacts on who I am as a person and as a player. I was very lucky to have them turn me into the pro I am today.
12. There are several pairs of brothers who are in the NHL together, your younger brother Kevin- a Hawks prospect will be coming up soon- what’s it like to have played with him and potentially against him at such high levels?
Playing with brother has been one of the greatest opportunities in my career. He is a great player and we continue to push one another everyday to become better. I sure hope I can play with him and not against him.
13. Most memorable hockey related moment(s) or accomplishment
as of yet?
I would have to say winning the Beanpot, Hockey East and National Championship in one season.
14. I’m sure many of our followers are wondering are you single, dating or locked down?
I am currently dating
15. What’s your ideal type of date?
My ideal type of date is doing some active and fun. I love playing golf (mini golf counts too) Then going for a nice dinner afterwards with a nice glass of wine is very appealing.
16. There’s been more controversial calls and suspensions than ever before in the game- how hard is it being a player and making a split second decision on whether to hit someone or not?
Hockey is a very fast game and decisions have to be made quick. Playing in the NHL you see a lot of players have respect for one another so the occasional high hit does happen but its part of the game.
17. Has there been a surreal moment yet or a realization that you made it to the NHL and is living out your dream?
It hasn’t really hit me yet. My dad has always told me to never be complacent so I am just working hard everyday to continue to stick in the NHL
18.What is something you enjoy doing in your downtime or in the offseason?
I love playing golf and hanging with my friends in the off season. We go the whole season barely seeing one another so the summer is a great time for us to catch up with one another.
19. Name one embarrassing hockey related moment?
In my first season as a pro early on in the year I walked out to practice with my skate guards on and took a spill while about 5 guys behind me knowing I had them on watch me wipe out.
20. Are you a trash talker? How do you respond to others chirping you?
I am not a trash talker on the ice. Sometimes I try to come back quickly with something witty but if I can’t it just goes in one ear and out the other.
21. What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as a great teammate and someone is always shows up and works hard no matter what the situation is.