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Columbus Prospect Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks Has Passed Away

via IIHF.com (translated),

We express our deepest condolences to the relatives, friends and colleagues of the Latvian national goalkeeper Matīss Edmunds Kivlenieks with the premature departure of Matīss. Matīss, a student of the hockey school "Pārdaugava", was the goalkeeper of the Latvian national team at the last World Championship, entering the goal in four games. He also played eight games in the NHL during his career. With his fighting spirit, work ethic and attitude he was a true example in sports! Matīsa's departure is a great loss not only for Latvian hockey, but for the entire Latvian nation.

added 8:56am, CBJ statement is below.  added 9:20am, Statement from Gary Bettman is below.

It is with profound sadness that the Columbus Blue Jackets announce goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks passed away last night at the age of 24 as the result of a tragic accident. The Riga, Latvia native suffered an apparent head injury in a fall. Medical personnel were called immediately, but he succumbed a short time later.

"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," said Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson. "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 signed with Columbus as a free agent in May 2017, went 2-2-2 with a 3.09 goals-against average and .899 save percentage in eight career games with the club. He made his NHL debut at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19, 2020, stopping 31-of-32 shots to beat the New York Rangers, 2-1. He posted a 33-35-9 mark, 3.31 GAA, .896 SV% and three shutouts in 85 career games with the Cleveland Monsters, the Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate from 2017-21. He represented Latvia at several international tournaments including the 2021 IIHF World Championships this spring, where he went 1-2 with a 2.18 GAA, .922 SV% and one shutout in four games.


NEW YORK (July 5, 2021) – National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement regarding the passing of Matiss Kivlenieks:

"The National Hockey League was saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks,” said Commissioner Gary Bettman. “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.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul's avatar

from Tony Paul of the Detroit News,

Novi police are investigating the death of Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks, who suffered a head injury at a house in Metro Detroit on Sunday night.

Kivlenieks was 24.

Novi Police Lt. Jason Meier said multiple people were in a hot tub when there was, “from what we can tell,” a fireworks incident. In attempting to get out of the hot tub, Kivlenieks slipped and hit his head on concrete, Meier said.

Police received the call shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, paramedics were on the scene within five minutes, and Kivlenieks was transported to Ascension Providence Hospital in Novi, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, and the investigation remains open, Meier said. He declined to say whose home Kivlenieks was at for the July 4 gathering.

continued

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/05/21 at 09:31 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Oh my goodness.  We will include him in our Rosary tonight, Boss.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 07/05/21 at 09:34 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

His two games with Columbus this year were against the Wings, a win and a loss on the 7th and 8th of May. Such a shame. RIP young man.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/05/21 at 10:53 AM ET

Paul's avatar

via ClickonDetroit,

NOVI, Mich. – A goalie from the National Hockey League was killed this weekend in Novi when a firework struck him in the chest, an autopsy reveled.

Matiss Kivlenieks, 24, a goalie for the Columbus Blue Jackets, was at a gathering Sunday night in Novi when there was some type of fireworks malfunction, according to Novi police.

Novi police previously said Kivlenieks slipped and hit his head while fleeing a hot tub due to a fireworks malfunction, but a Monday autopsy revealed he was killed by blunt force trauma to the chest, authorities said.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/05/21 at 11:44 AM ET

Paul's avatar

via Tony Paul of the Detroit News,

An initial autopsy report determined Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks died from a “percussive injury,” the extreme force let out by exploding fireworks, Novi police confirmed Monday afternoon.

He suffered major damage to his heart and lungs, police said. Kivlenieks died Sunday night after a fireworks mishap at a Novi holiday house party. He was 24.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/05/21 at 11:59 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Oh Jesus. That is quite sad. I feel and pray for his family.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 07/05/21 at 12:06 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Sad tragedy. Sounds like a combination of fireworks exposure and then falling on his head. sick

Posted by bigfrog on 07/05/21 at 12:18 PM ET

SauceBoss's avatar

Taken too soon. This is incredibly sad to read

Posted by SauceBoss on 07/05/21 at 12:52 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

And this is one reason commercial-grade fireworks should never be available to the general public. Michigan changed the laws a few years ago to allow these types of explosives (and that’s what they are) to be sold in Michigan because they felt they were missing out on the tax revenue generated by people crossing over into Indiana to buy them.

The strength of these things (both in noise level and explosiveness) is ridiculous. I feel for those vets with PTSD who suffer through the days around major holidays when their neighbors set them off for hours on end.

And I’m sure the Kivlenieks family (and other families) could tell the legislature in great detail how the loss of their loved one is nowhere near worth the few extra million dollars in tax revenue that the sale of these explosives generate.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/05/21 at 01:35 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Agreed OTC and I have first hand knowledge with fireworks.

As a 14 year-old, I had 80 black cats explode in my hip pocket of my shorts. 3rd degree burn and at one point I was in danger of losing my leg.

I see fireworks to this day and I run the other way.

Mass produced, unskilled labor equals something I want no part of.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/05/21 at 01:39 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

As a 14 year-old, I had 80 black cats explode in my hip pocket of my shorts. 3rd degree burn and at one point I was in danger of losing my leg.

Geez, buddy, between fireworks and bicycles, I’m beginning to think you shouldn’t be allowed outside your house without at least being covered in bubble wrap. I hope you’re feeling a little bit better today.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/05/21 at 02:16 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Ha OTC, forgot to mention the time I was catching in a little league game, ball went right threw the mask.  Still have the dent in my forehead.  Someone threw a softball mask into the catching gear, unfortunately we were of course playing hardball.

I am okay but bruises keep appearing. From right knee to my ankle is the biggest one.

I need a cocktail and hopefully around 11pm tonight I can have one.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/05/21 at 02:22 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Holy smokes what an insane tragedy.  RIP.

I need a cocktail and hopefully around 11pm tonight I can have one.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/05/21 at 03:22 PM ET

Cheers on that drink, Paul!

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 07/05/21 at 02:35 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/05/21 at 02:35 PM ET

I totally agree OTC. Here in the city it is like documentaries I have seen on the Tet Offensive. the 4th, New years eve and a few other holidays.

Besides the safety issues with the mortar style (and all others for that matter) i cannot believe people spend so much money on this shit. And they go on for hours. 10 minutes and I am over it.

Be well all and count your blessings every day.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 07/05/21 at 02:48 PM ET

Avatar

I read like most that Kivlenieks shut out Canada at home in Latvia.
He had a good chance of being the backup for CBJ this coming season.
Its nothing in comparison to a life lost at a shockingly young age, but his career was just really beginning to take off.

He also is a blog I read now and then which detailed some of his training and nutrition habits. Seemed like a smart, humble, caring person.

In the past couple years and last year especially it sometimes seems like the fireworks never stop. Kids are playing around with powerful explosives. Many people I know with dogs have grown to loathe the sound of them as they stress the dogs so much and risk a panicked dog running away. I absolutely loved fireworks on the 4th as a kid. One summer we were lucky to have a friend’s dad take us out on his small yacht on the Detroit river. But it was always a special community celebration. I know some people are scrupulously responsible in how they manage risk. But so much can go wrong. Serious injuries, fires, and now a death. RIP.

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/05/21 at 04:33 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Michigan changed the laws a few years ago to allow these types of explosives

I live in your neck of the woods Paul, the last 3 nights it sounded like the Michigan National Guard artillery was on maneuvers.

Such a ridiculously terrible tragedy that is so easily prevented…

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/05/21 at 05:11 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I just heard he was in a Jacuzzi when a rocket went out of control and him in the chest, killing him.  sick

Posted by bigfrog on 07/05/21 at 07:14 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Manny Legace’s home is where this occurred, Legace is the CBJ goaltending coach.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/06/21 at 07:36 AM ET

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