Kivlenieks, Matiss (CNN) – MICHIGAN – Matiss Kivlenieks, a professional hockey player, killed Sunday night in a fireworks accident during a Fourth of July celebration. At a private party in Michigan, the 24-year-old was apparently in a hot tub with a bunch of other individuals. One of them took out a gun and started shooting into the air; at some point, the weapon discharged, killing Kivlenieks instantly.
The incident occurred near the home of the family who had invited Kivlenieks to the party. It's not clear if they knew he played hockey.
Kivlenieks came to America from Russia when he was eight years old. He played junior ice hockey before turning pro this past season with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. The team posted on its website that it was "deeply saddened by this tragic event."
Kivlenieks was due to fly back to his home town of Chelyabinsk on Saturday but never made it. His death has been reported to police there as well as in Michigan.
Fireworks are illegal in Chelyabinsk without a permit, but one of the guests at the party may have had one, according to witnesses. Local authorities told CNN they were not aware of any violations at the party.
Kivlenieks, Matiss A 24-year-old National Hockey League player for the Columbus Blue Jackets died Sunday after being injured by pyrotechnics during a party in Novi, Mich. According to an autopsy, Matiss Kivlenieks, a goalkeeper for the Columbus Blue Jackets, died of chest trauma. He had a bottle thrown at him during a hockey game Saturday night in Michigan and was trying to protect himself from the bottle with his arm when it exploded into pieces that covered him in glass.
Fireworks are banned from hockey games throughout most of North America, including all events held at Nationwide Arena. However, they are allowed at some outdoor games in Canada and the United States.
The incident occurred during a fight between the Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena. During the fight, someone threw a bottle on the ice, and Kivlenieks tried to break it up. Instead of breaking the bottle, his hand got cut by one of its fragments. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead hours later.
Police have not released any information about possible suspects or motives.
Kivlenieks' death is the first fireworks-related injury in NHL history.
He played only one game this season for the Blue Jackets, stopping 16 of 17 shots he faced. The team announced his death early on Monday morning. He has two children.
Matiss Kivlenieks, goalkeeper for the Columbus Blue Jackets, died of chest injuries caused by an errant fireworks mortar burst on the Fourth of July, according to police. He was 26.
The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. at the south end of the Downtown district in Columbus, Ohio. Kivlenieks was standing in about six inches of water wearing shorts and a T-shirt when the blast happened. He was taken to OSU Wexner Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Police said the mortars were being used as part of the city's annual Independence Day celebration when they were fired in error. A team of investigators from the city's homicide unit is working with federal agents to determine what led up to the accident.
Kivlenieks came to the Blue Jackets after three seasons with HC Sibir Novosibirsk in the KHL. The Blue Jackets selected him with the 28th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. He was born in Grozny, Russia but grew up in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
He was the starting goaltender for most of the Blue Jackets' first two seasons before being replaced by Alex Gorlitsky.
Kivlenieks, Matiss "The National Hockey League was sorry to learn of goalie Matiss Kivlenieks' abrupt and terrible death," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated. "Matiss was a talented young man who played an important role on the ice for the Montreal Canadiens. His loss is deeply felt by his family, friends and teammates." Kivlenieks died on October 9, 2010 after suffering severe brain injuries when he hit his head while playing hockey.
Born in Moscow on January 4, 1986, Kivlenieks moved with his family to France when he was five years old. He then settled in Canada, where he grew up in Montreal. A talented goaltender, he began playing organized hockey at the age of eight. In 2003, when he was 15 years old, Kivlenieks was drafted by the Quebec Remparts of the Canadian major junior league, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He spent one season with the team before making the transition to the professional level, signing with the Canadiens as a free agent on March 30, 2004.
In his first pro season, Kivlenieks appeared in 39 games for the Canadiens' American Hockey League (AHL) club, the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Cherepanov fell on the bench towards the end of a KHL game in October 2008 and could not be revived. He died later that day in the hospital at the age of 19..
|NHL Draft||17th overall, 2007 New York Rangers|
Dale Hawerchuk, a hockey legend who rose to prominence as the face of the Winnipeg Jets on his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame, died on Tuesday. He was 57. The death from stomach cancer was announced by the Barrie Colts, the Ontario Hockey League team Hawerchuk coached, on Twitter. He had been receiving treatment for the disease for the past year.
Hawerchuk is one of only four players (along with Gordie Howe, Guy Lafleur, and Mario Lemieux) to score over 500 goals in the NHL. He finished with 511 goals and 972 points in 901 games over 21 seasons. In addition to being a two-time All-Star, he won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy three times as well as the Frank J. Selke Award for best defensive forward.
He was born on January 4, 1959 in North York, Ontario. As a youth, he played in the 1975 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Toronto.
In 1984, Hawerchuk joined the Winnipeg Jets as their first overall pick in the draft. He helped the team win the Stanley Cup that same season. He remained with the franchise until 1996 when they moved to Phoenix after 12 years in Winnipeg. During that time, he scored 100 or more goals five times, was named MVP of the playoffs three times, and won the Lady Byng Trophy twice.