Legace spoke publicly for the first time about what happened that night and the heartbreak it has caused. He said his relationship with Kivlenieks was like father and son.
“I love you. I will always love you. You were my son and you’re a great friend to everybody here,” Legace said.
Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzļikins said he was standing right there with his pregnant wife when the mortar was heading in their direction.
“He saved my son, my wife and me,” Merzļikins said. “He died a hero.”
He said he believes Kivlenieks blocked the mortar to keep it from hitting anyone else.