The NHL community and hockey world as a whole were stunned and saddened when it was announced that 24-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died on Sunday after a tragic fireworks accident in Michigan.
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
In wake of the tragedy, there's been an outpouring of mourning, condolences and remembrance from those across the hockey world.
Former Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno had nothing but nice things to say about his ex-teammate.
Asked former Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno about what Matiss Kivlenieks was like as a person.
Here’s what he said 💔 pic.twitter.com/P0ksIcrOik
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) July 5, 2021
“One thing I loved and appreciated about him was he had a great smile and always was in a good mood,” Foligno said.
“I know it’s cliche but that’s exactly the kind of guy he was. Just enjoying his life as a 24-year-old living out his dream and you can tell he didn’t take one day for granted which makes this tragedy even more hard to bear! Praying for his family and all of us who knew him. Hard day for a lot of people in that organization.”
Seeing all the beautiful tributes to Matiss only further cements what kind of person he was! What a tragic loss for all of us who knew him and I am thinking and praying for his family. Heaven gained a darn good goalie and better person… Just, way too soon.
RIP Kivi! 🙏😢❤️ https://t.co/k2XWVXmfYE
— Nick Foligno (@NickFoligno) July 5, 2021
— Nick Foligno (@NickFoligno) July 5, 2021
Another former teammate and current member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, David Savard, learned about Kivlenieks death via a text from Foligno, and called the incident “extremely sad.”
David Savard says he learned of former teammate Matiss Kivlenieks' death in a text from Nick Foligno: "That was a brutal wake up this morning. He was a good kid with a lot of talent who was going to be a part of the team next year or in the future. It's extremely sad."
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 5, 2021
Blue Jackets forward Max Domi also chimed in:
Love you brother. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/0qqLSDDosI
— Max Domi (@maxdomi) July 5, 2021
Fans of the Blue Jackets at ‘R Bar’ — a hockey pub located near the home of the team, Nationwide Arena — participated in an 80-second moment of silence in honour of Kivlenieks’ jersey number.
#CBJ fans gathered at R Bar just observed an 80-second moment of silence in honor of Matiss Kivlenieks, who of course wore No. 80 with the Jackets pic.twitter.com/dvHUgPjQG7
— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) July 5, 2021
A moment of silence was also held in Montreal at the Bell Centre ahead of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.
A moment of silence for Matiss Kivlenieks ahead of the SCF game. #CBJ
— CBJ Coverage (@CBJcoverage) July 6, 2021
Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen shared a sentimental tweet after Kivlenieks’ sudden death.
Life is so precious and can be so fragile. Hug your loved ones today. RIP Matiss, you will be dearly missed.
— Jarmo Kekalainen (@jkekalainen) July 5, 2021
In addition to Foligno, Domi, Savard and Kekalainen, many others weighed in on the devastating news.
I just can't stop thinking about the tragic passing of Matiss Kivlenieks.
A freak accident. Here one day, gone the next.
Just like that.
Life is so short and there are no guarantees.
We would all do well to enjoy the little things today.
In the end, they are the big things.
— Jackie Redmond (@Jackie_Redmond) July 5, 2021
Shocking, devastating, and heartbreaking loss of wonderful human being with radiant smile, a tremendous young man, Matiss Kivlenieks will be deeply missed. May his memory be a blessing for his mom, Astrida, his teammates, friends, and family. #matiss
— Jay Grossman (@Jay_Grossman) July 5, 2021
Matiss Kivlenieks will forever be a Columbus Blue Jacket. Number 80 will never be forgotten. #CBJ
— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) July 5, 2021
We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Matiss Kivlenieks and send our heartfelt condolences to the Kivlenieks family and to all of his teammates and friends at this time.
We’ll miss you so much, Kivi. Rest In Peace.https://t.co/JbUyyDNLVg pic.twitter.com/000cF0Kl4j
— Cleveland Monsters (@monstershockey) July 5, 2021
Kivlenieks clearly had a positive impact on so many he interacted with. His death has truly shaken up the hockey world.
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