BOSTON (CBS) — When Jimmy Hayes takes the ice for the first time as a member of the Bruins, the logo on the jersey won’t be the only difference for the Boston native.
Hayes has already changed his number, going from the No. 12 he recently wore with the Florida Panthers to No. 11 with Boston.READ MORE: Gov. Charlie Baker Weighing $4B Spending Bill Sent To Him By Lawmakers
It’s a number that has a very special meaning to the 25-year-old.
Hayes will wear No. 11 in honor of his good friend, Corey Griffin, who passed away last August. Hayes grew up with Griffin, a philanthropist from Hingham who made it a point to raise money for many different causes over the years. When concussions ended his playing days on the ice, he raised money for brain injury awareness for Children’s Hospital. Griffin is also credited as the co-founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and raised $100,000 for ALS research last summer to help his friend, Pete Frates.
Griffin wore No. 11 during his playing time with Hayes when they were younger, and then at Thayer Academy and Babson College. Hayes explained his connection to Griffin in a video on the team’s website, and said he’s happy he’ll be able to honor his late friend every time he steps on the ice.
“We go back to our youth hockey days,” Hayes told the Bruins team website. “He would walk in and put a smile on and brighten everyone’s day.”READ MORE: Wind Gusts Across Eastern Mass. Projected To Be 50 MPH Or Higher On Monday Night
Hayes wore No. 10 in high school and at Boston College, and a handful of numbers in Florida. But he wasn’t able to secure a No. 11 sweater until arriving in Boston earlier this week.
Former BC teammate Brian Boyle, who plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning, also wears No. 11 in honor of Griffin.
“Corey is always with us, and wearing 11 every night, I know he’ll be with me every night. It’s a huge honor to wear it,” said Hayes.
The Bruins acquired Hayes, a Dorchester native, from the Panthers at the start of free agency for forward Riley Smith, and signed him to a three-year contract a few days later.MORE NEWS: Body Of Missing UNH Student Vincenzo Lirosi Found
Next season had plenty of meaning for Hayes already, getting a chance to step on the ice for his hometown team, but now he also gets to honor his late friend each and every night.