The hockey community continues to mourn the loss of Columbus Blue Jackets goalkeeper Matiss Kivlenieks, who was tragically killed in a fireworks-related accident last month.
For him NHL website, Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois will change his jersey from No. 13 to No. 80 to honor Kivlenieks, his former Columbus teammate who wore the No. 80 during his brief professional career.
Kivlenieks, who would have turned 25 later this month, passed away on July 4 after being accidentally struck by a firework at the home of Columbus goalkeeping coach Manny Legace. At a memorial service, fellow Columbus goalkeeper Elvis Merzlikins explained that Kivlenieks put himself in danger to protect both Merzlikins and Merzlikins’ pregnant wife.
“He saved my son, he saved my wife and he saved me,” Merzlikins said excitedly about Kivlenieks.
Dubois was traded from Columbus to Winnipeg on January 23 of this year. He had nine goals and 12 assists in 46 regular season games in 2020-21.
While the police did not seek charges related to Kivlenieks’ death and called the incident a “tragic accident”, the case was sent to a prosecutor for a second review.