The sports community is mourning the loss of a beloved athlete.
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died after suffering a fatal head injury during a tragic Fourth of July incident at a home in Novi, Michigan. He was 24.
“There appears to have been a fireworks malfunction, which caused a group of people to flee from the hot tub, including the deceased, who slipped and hit his head on the concrete,” Lt. Jason Meier of the Novi Police Department said in a statement to ESPN. Kivlenieks was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital by medical personnel on Sunday evening.
As news of the NHL star’s death emerged, many fans and fellow members of the sports community paid tribute to him. “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,” John Davidson, Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations, said Monday, July 5. “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.”