Man Arrested For Manslaughter In Tragic Death Of Ex-NHLer Adam Johnson

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 8, 2019: Sheffield Steelers sign at FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, England


South Yorkshire Police in England have made an arrest in connection to the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, whose throat was slated by a skate after a hit from a defenseman during a game between the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the hospital following the game and an autopsy confirmed he died as a result of a fatal neck injury.

Sky Sports was the first to report the news.

While a name has not immediately been released, it is believed that the man arrested was Sheffield Steelers defenseman Matt Petgrave, who delivered the fatal blow on October 28.

“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” South Yorkshire Police Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said in a statement.

“We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.

“Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world. We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process. Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as enquiries continue.”

Johnson was 29 years old.

The English Ice Hockey Association announced that the use of neck protection will be mandatory beginning in 2024 following Johnson’s death.

Johnson made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 21, 2019. He played in 13 total NHL games and recorded four points. Johnson’s lone NHL goal came on October 12, 2019, in his home state of Minnesota in a 7-4 win over the Wild.

He had previously played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League.

While playing for the WBS Penguins, who are the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the former University of Minnesota-Duluth star recorded 108 points and was the second-leading scorer in the 2017-18 season.

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