The Columbus Blue Jackets, the Blue Jackets Foundation and the McConnell family were deeply saddened by the sudden passing of CBJ goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks on July 4th at the age of 24. In addition to being an outstanding player, Kivi was a warm and engaging young man who made a significant impact on our organization and all those who knew him.
To honor his memory, The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation has established the Matiss Kivlenieks Memorial Fund to support youth hockey initiatives in Columbus and his native Latvia. In tribute to our No. 80, the Blue Jackets and McConnell family have pledged $80,000 to match every donation made to the fund in Kivi's memory.
The outpouring of love and support for Kivi and our organization since his passing has been both overwhelming and inspiring. All contributions that have already been made to the Foundation in his name will be directed to this fund.
Matiss Kivlenieks brought joy to everyone that knew him. On July 15, we celebrated his life and remembered the wonderful person that he was.