24-Year-Old Columbus Blue Jackets Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks Dies In ‘Tragic Accident’

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The hockey world is in mourning this week after tragic news came down that Matiss Kivlenieks lost his life at the tender age of 24.

The Columbus Blue Jackets goalie died as the result of a “tragic accident” and suffered an apparent head injury in a fall, according to the team.

“Medical personnel were called immediately, but he succumbed a short time later,” the team said in a statement.

“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.”

Last season, Kivlenieks started in two games for the Blue Jackets and most recently played for Latvia at the IIHF World Championships. He played in eight total games in his NHL career.

The undrafted player signed with Columbus as a free agent in 2017 and made his NHL debut at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19, 2020.