Colombus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks tragically died on July 4 last year after a firework malfunction in Michigan. Blue Jackets No. 1 goalie, Elvis Merzlikins, was also at the place and has said that Kivlenieks died a hero.
Merzlikins was standing right behind his goalie colleague, and when he months later became a father for the second time, they named the baby Knox Matiss Merzlikins.
Now, Elvis makes another amazing gesture in honor of his fallen teammate. Merzlikins told media in his native country Latvia that he’s, from now on, will wear No. 80 when playing for his national team.
Merzlikins plays with the No. 30 on his back with the Blue Jackets. He originally wanted the Latvian national team to retire the #80, but it wasn’t possible, according to journalist Aivis Kalnins.
“One day his #80 and my surname will be at the rafters hanging as one and we will be together,” Elvis said.
What a beautiful gesture.