Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died Sunday night as a result of what the organisation described as a “tragic accident” with fireworks.
In a statement Monday morning, the Blue Jackets said medical personnel was called immediately to attend to Kivlenieks, but he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
It was originally reported that he slipped while attempting to jump out of a hot tub with others after a fireworks malfunction, then hit his head on concrete. However, it was later revealed that he died from chest trauma as a result of a fireworks blast, according to AP.
“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 organisation will not be forgotten.”
Kivlenieks, who had recently competed for his native country Latvia at the IIHF World Championships, started in two games for Columbus this NHL season. The undrafted netminder had six NHL starts and eight appearances to his name dating back to 2019-20. He was expected to compete for more playing time next season.
“Life is so precious and can be so fragile,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen tweeted. “Hug your loved ones today. RIP Matiss, you will be dearly missed.”
After signing with the Blue Jackets as a free agent in 2017, Kivlenieks made his NHL debut at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19, 2020. He turned aside 31 of the 32 shots he faced to lift Columbus to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers.
Kivlenieks, who was dubbed the 2017 USHL Player of the Year, finishes his NHL career with a 2-2-2 record and a 3.09 goals-against average with a .899 save percentage.
“The National Hockey League was saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement Monday. “On behalf of the NHL family, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates in both the Blue Jackets organisation and his native country of Latvia. His love for life and passion for the game will be deeply missed by all those who have been fortunate to have him as a teammate and a friend.”
This article was originally published by the NY Post and reproduced with permission.
Jimmy Hayes, the fun-loving former ice hockey star who spent seven seasons in the NHL and won a national championship at Boston College, died unexpectedly Monday morning at the age of 31.
The cause of death was not immediately known but foul play was not suspected, according to the Boston Globe, which cited local authorities and first responders.
Hayes was pronounced dead at his home in Milton, a suburb of Boston, the outlet reported.
According to Instagram posts Sunday from his wife, Kristen, Hayes and his family celebrated the birthday of their 2-year-old son, Beau, over the weekend.
Known for his big frame as much as his outsized personality, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound right winger had 54 goals and 109 points in 334 games over seven NHL seasons, the last of which came with New Jersey in 2017-18.
“When I think of a ‘locker room guy’ I think of Jimmy ‘Broadway’ Hayes,” former Devil Blake Coleman tweeted.
“Very devastating news, he will be missed by so many, he always brought a smile to the rink in our time together in New Jersey.”
The Devils said that Hayes’ “infectious personality and easygoing nature were contagious to all who spent time with him. He had a tremendous ability to make everyone feel welcome. You will be missed, Jimmy.”
After being selected in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Hayes starred for his hometown Boston College and won a national title in 2010, when he tallied 35 points in 42 games.
Following a trade from Toronto, Hayes made his debut with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011 and also played for the Bruins and Panthers.
Hayes last played professionally in the 2018-19 season with the minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After his playing days ended, Hayes joined “Missin Curfew,” a hockey and lifestyle podcast with other former NHLers Shane O’Brien and Scottie Upshall.
“We lost our brother today,” read a tweet from the podcast’s account. “Goodbye Jimmy, we will love you forever.”
In addition to Kristen and their 2-year-old, Hayes is survived by the couple’s 3-month-old boy, Mac; Hayes’ parents, Shelagh and Kevin Sr.; and siblings Genevieve, Eileen, Justine and Kevin, also an NHL player.
Kevin Hayes currently plays for the Flyers. The 29-year-old similarly starred at Boston College, before spending five seasons with the Rangers.
Vegas Golden Knights tough guy Ryan Reaves has been slapped with a two-game ban after he pulled out a “chunk” of the hair of Colorado Avalanche player Ryan Graves during Sunday’s NHL playoff match in Colorado.
Reaves, who has been suspended numerous times during his NHL career, was given a match penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play, which occurred halfway through the third period of Colorado’s 7-1 game one victory.
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“During this scrum both the officials and Reaves acknowledge that a chunk of Graves’ hair was pulled out by Reaves,” the league’s Department of Safety said in a video statement.
Reaves also punched Graves in the back of the head and took him aggressively down to the ice. His actions sparked a fracas at the side of the net and led to a nine-minute Colorado powerplay.
Graves remained on the ice for several minutes before heading to the locker room.
In 686 career games, Reaves has 49 goals and 937 minutes in penalties while playing with St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas.
The Rangers’ measure of revenge came courtesy of their fists and not the scoreboard on Wednesday.
In the 4-2 loss to the Capitals, which came two days after Tom Wilson cheap-shotted his way against the Blueshirts, the teams took part in a wild rematch at the Garden that included six first-period fights and totalled 141 penalty minutes.
Wilson and his teammates were forced to answer for his punching of a defenceless Pavel Buchnevich and throwing Artemi Panarin to the ice on Monday, which resulted in Wilson receiving just a $5,000 fine from the NHL.