Columbus Blue Jackets Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks Dies In 'Tragic Accident'

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that goalie Matiss Kivlenieks has passed away following a "tragic accident" on Sunday.

Kivlenieks was just 24 years old.

The team said Kivlenieks died after suffering an apparent head injury in a fall.

"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 two games for the Blue Jackets. He played in eight total games in his NHL career, and he was expected to challenge for more playing time this next season.

Kivlenieks had recently played for Latvia at the IIHF World Championships.

The goalie was spending the summer in the United States and that's where the "tragic accident" took place, according to reports.

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Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."