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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
Blue Jackets forward Max Domi also chimed in:
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.
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.
Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen shared a sentimental tweet after Kivlenieks’ sudden death.
In addition to Foligno, Domi, Savard and Kekalainen, many others weighed in on the devastating news.
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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