A tragic and unexpected scene unfolded on Saturday night, October 28 as former NHL player Adam Johnson suffered a horrific neck injury during the middle of a game in England. The terrible freak accident occurred during the second period of the Challenge Cup game between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena.
As news spread of Johnson’s passing, all EIHL games were postponed as an act of respect for the hockey star and his family.
The tragedy unfolded when 29-year-old Johnson was slashed by the skate of an opposing player during a collision on the ice. He was treated on the ice before being rushed to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital however, he did not survive his injuries.
“The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night,” said Panthers management in a statement released Sunday morning. The nearly 8,000 fans were asked to leave after players made their way back to their locker rooms.
NEW: Former NHL Hockey star Adam Johnson has died after a hockey blade struck him in the neck during a match between the Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers.
The game ended when Johnson went down after a player on the opposing team made contact with Johnson's… pic.twitter.com/JyIHpu6MeT
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) October 29, 2023
Johnson had played thirteen games for the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to his death, registering one goal and three assists in 2018-2019 season with them before signing with Nottingham later that year. Upon learning about his passing, they released a statement expressing their condolences: “We offer our deepest condolences to Adam’s family and friends, as well as all of Adam’s past and present teammates and coaches,” they said. “Adam will always be part of the Penguins family.”
EIHL announced that all games on Sunday have been postponed as a result of Johnson’s passing -– an effort to provide comfort to those close him while also honoring his memory across Europe’s professional hockey leagues. “The thoughts and condolences of everyone connected with EIHL are with Adam’s family, friends and teammates at this incredibly sad and difficult time,” they wrote in a statement.”We would also ask everyone to respect the privacy of Adam’s family at this time.”