NHL goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks of Blue Jackets dead at 24 in "tragic accident"
Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks died Sunday night at age of 24.
According to the national Hockey league organization, the hockey player died in the result of a “tragic accident.” He reportedly received a head injury after a fall. The announcement on Monday said the medical person was called immediately to Kivlenieks but could not save him.
Police later reported that he was trying to get out of the hot tub but slipped and hit his heat on the concrete.
“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.”
Kivlenieks, who had recently competed for his native country Latvia at the IIHF World Championships, started in two games for Columbus this NHL season.
“Life is so precious and can be so fragile,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen tweeted. “Hug your loved ones today. RIP Matiss, you will be dearly missed.”
Kivlenieks, who was dubbed the 2017 USHL Player of the Year, finishes his NHL career with a 2-2-2 record and a 3.09 goals-against average with a .899 save percentage.
“The National Hockey League was saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement Monday. “On behalf of the NHL family, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates in both the Blue Jackets organization and his native country of Latvia. His love for life and passion for the game will be deeply missed by all those who have been fortunate to have him as a teammate and a friend.”