Pierre-Luc Dubois will honour a fallen friend by changing his jersey number this upcoming season.
The Winnipeg Jets centre will wear the No. 80 instead of his previous No. 13 to commemorate the death of former Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Matiss Kivlenieks.
New season = new #NHLJets numbers! ✈️@18Dubois - #80@natebeaulieu - #28@BDillon04 – #5@nateschmidt29 - #88— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) August 4, 2021
Mikhail Berdin - #30@rileynash20 – #20@Pogo_11 – #22@MikeyEyssimont– #23
Luke Johnson – #47#GoJetsGo pic.twitter.com/JqEXMLj1W0
The 24-year-old Kivlenieks was killed during a fireworks mishap at the home of goaltending coach Manny Legace last month during a Fourth of July party. Fellow Blue Jackets goaltender and Latvian national Elvis Merzlikins revealed that Kivlenieks died while attempting to shield others, including Merzlikins' pregnant wife, when a mortar shell struck him in the chest.
Pierre-Luc Dubois's change to No. 80 is in honour of former Columbus teammate Matīss Kivlenieks, who died tragically a month ago. Kivlenieks wore No. 80 for the Blue Jackets.— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) August 4, 2021
“He saved not just many lives ... He saved my (unborn) son, he saved my wife, and he saved me," Merzlikins said during a memorial service for Kivlenieks held later in July.
Dubois, 23, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Blue Jackets before a trade to the Jets at the beginning of last season that saw Patrik Laine go the other way.
In a combined 46 games last season, Dubois had nine goals and 12 assists.