Adam Johnson: Police investigate the death of an American ice hockey player who died in a “freak accident”

Adam Johnson: Police investigate the death of an American ice hockey player who died in a “freak accident”

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Photo of Adam Johnson playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 29, 2019.


Police are investigating the death of American ice hockey player Adam Johnson, who died on Saturday after a “freak accident” while playing for the Nottingham Panthers in England.

During the second half of the Panthers’ game against the Sheffield Steelers, Johnson appeared to suffer a serious injury after colliding with a Steelers player.

Spectators were asked to leave Sheffield’s Utilita Arena and the match was immediately suspended, with the Panthers confirming on Sunday that Johnson had died “following a freak incident at the match”. He was 29 years old.

South Yorkshire Police (SYP) said on Monday it was investigating the matter.

A statement read: “We were contacted at 8.25pm ​​on Saturday 28 October to inform us that a player had been seriously injured during the Sheffield Steelers v Nottingham Panthers match at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield.”

“Officers attended the scene alongside other emergency services and a man, aged in his 20s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Sadly he was later pronounced dead at hospital.

He added: “Our officers remain at the scene conducting investigations, and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remains ongoing.”

SYP issued a new statement on Tuesday announcing that although its officers have now left the scene, the broader investigation remains ongoing and will take some time “due to the complex nature of this tragic and unprecedented incident.”

The SYP statement added: “As with all unexpected and sudden deaths, it is standard practice for police to investigate the circumstances fully and submit our findings to His Majesty the Coroner,” referring to the specialist judges who investigate deaths in which deaths are considered As unnatural and violent. Or when the cause is unknown.

Sheffield City Council told CNN they would assist in the investigation.

Councilor Joe Otten, Chair of Sheffield Council’s Waste and Street Scene Policy Committee, said: “Firstly, our thoughts are with Adam’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad and difficult time.

“Our health and safety team is assisting South Yorkshire Police with their investigations and will provide assistance where necessary.”

Fans have been laying flowers outside the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, where the Panthers play, while paying tributes around the world.

Johnson’s fiancée, Ryan Wolfe, posted on her Instagram account: “My beautiful angel. I will miss you forever and always love you.”

His former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL), also praised him before and during their game Monday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Fans at PPG Paints Arena are invited to this Stand up and cheer While the players of both teams gathered in the center ice circle before the match in memory of Johnson.

Jane J. Pushkar/AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks flank center ice before Monday’s game.

All the players also honored Johnson with sports Special “AJ 47” badges On their helmets.

“He was a great kid, a good player,” the head coach said Mike Sullivan said. “Boy, he can really skate. It was an honor to be his coach. There are no words I have to explain how I feel about the whole circumstance. It’s just an unbelievable tragedy.”

The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), the governing body for ice hockey in England and Wales, issued a statement on Monday detailing its commitment to improving player safety in the wake of Johnson’s death.

In the short term, the EIHA said it strongly recommended that players at all levels in English ice hockey use a neck guard/protector during all on-ice activities. After December 31, neck protectors will become mandatory, the statement said. “It is not mandatory with immediate effect due to anticipated supply issues,” the EIHA said.

“It is unacceptable for any player to lose their life while playing sport,” the EIHA added. He added: “Our responsibility is not only limited to avoiding the recurrence of such a tragic accident, but also includes preventive treatment of other accidents expected in the future.”

The EIHA also confirmed that it will launch a “comprehensive review” of all aspects of player safety equipment (such as helmets, mouthguards, gum shields and face protection) and will provide its members with clear guidance on ongoing and ongoing improvement of player safety. and their duties in this field.”

The Panthers confirmed Monday that Elite Ice Hockey League games scheduled for this week have been suspended, as have the Steelers.

Johnson was born in Hibbing, Minnesota and began his career in the American Hockey League. He advanced to the NHL with the Penguins, appearing in 13 games over two seasons with the team, recording four points.

Johnson also played in Sweden and Germany before joining the Panthers for the 2023-24 season.

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