Blue Jackets And Nationwide Arena Security Attempting To Identify Fan Who Allegedly Taunted Blue Jackets Netminder Elvis Merzlikins Regarding Offseason Death Of Matiss Kivlenieks

Photo: NHL via Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena security are reportedly attempting to identify a fan who, according to Blue Jackets’ goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, taunted Merzlikins regarding the off-season death of his friend and former teammate Matiss Kivlenieks. The taunting incident occurred before Monday’s game against the Dallas Stars.

The report appears to be related to an incident that occurred when the Blue Jackets took the ice on Monday night. It’s being reported that one fan yelled “don’t light a firework.”

Blue Jackets fans on Twitter have attempted to assist in the search for the person in question, and appear to believe it was a Dallas Stars fan located near the Blue Jackets tunnel at the time of the incident.

It’s uncertain if this was the person who allegedly taunted Merzlikins.

“I strongly believe I was expecting a shutout, because I believe in karma. There are some stupid people in this world. It was really bad, what happened when I was walking out. There was a fan from Dallas who provoked me about Matiss [Kivlenieks],” Merzlikins said after the game.

The veteran goaltender said the fan’s taunt didn’t bother him. “No. Stupid people don’t come into my head. I leave them there. I didn’t get upset. I just realized how stupid people are,” he said. “I don’t care what he said.”

Kivlenieks was killed this past offseason when a malfunctioning firework struck him in the chest. Kivlenieks and Merzlikins were attending a holiday party at the home of former Detroit Red Wings goalie Manny Legace.

Police said the mortar-style firework tilted slightly and started to fire toward people nearby. The 24-year-old Kivlenieks was in a hot tub and tried to get clear with several other people, police Lt. Jason Meier said.

An initial autopsy report determined Kivlenieks died from chest trauma, possibly caused by the extreme force from the powerful blast of exploding fireworks.

Kivlenieks suffered major damage to his heart and lungs, according to the autopsy report from the county medical examiner.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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4 Responses to Blue Jackets And Nationwide Arena Security Attempting To Identify Fan Who Allegedly Taunted Blue Jackets Netminder Elvis Merzlikins Regarding Offseason Death Of Matiss Kivlenieks

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    What is wrong with people?

  2. redLitYogi says:

    Especially since many witnesses at the incident say that Kivlenieks recognized a dangerous situation and intentionally put himself in harm’s way and thus saved many others (60-70 people were there) from death or serious injury.

  3. Ed Thompson says:

    Hurtful phrases often fly; Brain in neutral, mouth in high…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Totally classless.

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