Sad news is coming out of the NHL today as Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks has died at the age of 24. Reports surrounding his death surfaced early this morning, with the team confirming the news on Twitter. At the time of the first report, it was believed that Kivlenieks had died due to head trauma after hitting his head on concrete. Later in the day, it was reported that Kivlenieks was in a hot tub with friends when nearby fireworks malfunctioned and headed right for them.

That’s when Kivlenieks fled the hot tub and was struck in the chest by a firework mortar, causing him to fall and hit his head. It is a truly tragic accident that has the hockey world in shock. 

“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 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.”

Numerous teammates and players around the league have taken to social media to offer their condolences to Kivlenieks’ family. This is a horrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with his loved ones during this difficult time.

Matiss Kivlenieks

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

[Via]