Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks died Sunday at the age of 24, the team announced on Monday. The Blue Jackets stated that an apparent head injury sustained from a fall was the cause of death.
The Athletic's Aaron Portzline shared information from the autopsy that showed “fireworks mortar blast, chest trauma," was the cause of death.
Kivlenieks, a native of Latvia, signed with the Blue Jackets in 2017. In eight games at the NHL level, Kivlenieks compiled a 2-2-2 record with a save percentage of .899. He became a staple in the AHL's Cleveland Monsters' lineup, appearing in 85 games, and played for the Latvian national team.
"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. "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."
The Washington Capitals were one of the numerous teams to offer their condolences to the Blue Jackets on social media as many mourn the loss of a member of the hockey community.