Matiss Kivlenieks, a goalie for the Columbus Blue Jackets since 2017, has died at age 24 after a July 4th accident. The medical examiner found the hockey player died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast. Previous reports incorrectly stated that Kivlenieks died from a head injury.
“It’s with a very heavy heart that we share the news that goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks passed away last night at the age of 24,” the team’s official account tweeted. “We are heartbroken. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace, Kivi.”
It’s with a very heavy heart that we share the news that goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks passed away last night at the age of 24.
We are heartbroken. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Rest in peace, Kivi.https://t.co/o2EDRgxQ5A pic.twitter.com/FCBr0ZaH25
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) July 5, 2021
Kivlenieks signed with Columbus back in May 2017, as a free agent. He made his NHL debut at Madison Square Garden in January 2020, and notched 85 career games with the Cleveland Monsters, the Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate from 2017-21. Kivlenieks also represented Latvia in multiple international tournaments, including the 2021 IIHF World Championships this past Spring.
“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of Matiss Kivlenieks, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his mother, Astrida, his family and friends during this devastating time,” Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson said in a statement. “Kivi was an outstanding young man who greeted every day and everyone with a smile and the impact he had during his four years with our organization will not be forgotten.”
After the news broke, multiple teams throughout the NHL offered their condolences on Twitter, including the New Jersey Devils, the Washington Capitals, the Tampa Bay Lightning and more.
Sending our deepest condolences to your organization, his family and friends from here in Jersey. Rest peacefully, Kivi. It is clear you are loved and will be missed.❤️🖤
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) July 5, 2021
We’re sending our deepest condolences to Matiss’ family and friends, and will keep everyone with the Blue Jackets organization in our thoughts. Rest peacefully, Kivi. 🧡🖤
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 5, 2021
We would like to send our deepest condolences to Matiss’ family and friends, and to the entire Blue Jackets organization. Our thoughts are with you in this difficult time.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 5, 2021
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) July 5, 2021
Sending our deepest condolences to Matiss' loved ones and the entire Blue Jackets organization.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. 💙
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 5, 2021
Read original story Matiss Kivlenieks, NHL Goalie, Dies at 24 After July 4th Accident At TheWrap