HomeSportsNHL: Columbus Blue Jackets Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks Dies in ‘Tragic Accident’

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks Dies in ‘Tragic Accident’

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

There is some sad news for NHL fans this morning. Matiss Kivlenieks, goalie for the Columbus Blue Jackets died last night after a tragic accident that left him with severe head trauma.

Matiss Kivlenieks had a promising career in the NHL. Recently, he competed in his native land of Latvia. There, he competed in the IIHF World Championship. He signed to the Blue Jackets as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The 24-year old goalie started two games for the Blue Jackets this season. Before that, he had six NHL starts and eight appearances on the ice under his belt.

 Blue Jackets president of hockey operations, John Davidson, released a statement. That statement read, in part, “[Matiss Kivlenieks] was an outstanding young man who greeted every day and everyone with a smile… The impact he had during his four years with our organization will not be forgotten.”

The Tragic Accident That Killed Matiss Kivlenieks

The Novi, Michigan police department stated that Matiss Kivlenieks died after hitting his head during a Fourth of July accident, according to an ESPN report.

According to that report, a mortar-style firework tilted and started firing in the direction of people. Kivlenieks and some friends were enjoying the show from a hot tub. However, when the fireworks started firing in their direction, they all jumped out and attempted to get away from the flaming projectiles. While doing so, the Blue Jackets goalie slipped on wet concrete and hit his head. Medical professionals were called but to no avail.

They transported Matiss Kivlenieks to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.