NOTTINGHAM, England (TCD) — British police have arrested a man on a manslaughter charge about two weeks after a 29-year-old hockey player died during a game last month.
Adam Johnson played for the Nottingham Panthers, a team in the Elite Hockey League. According to the team, on Oct. 28, the Panthers played the Sheffield Steelers. During the game, Johnson became injured in a “freak accident.” He died the next day at a hospital.
The South Yorkshire Police said in a statement that an autopsy concluded Johnson died from a fatal neck injury. On Nov. 14, detectives took an unnamed male into custody in connection with Johnson’s death.
According to BBC, Coroner Tanyka Rawden urged the hockey league’s governing body to require neck guards, saying, “In due course the inquest will consider whether the use of a neck guard or protector could have prevented Mr. Johnson’s death.”
Some teams have already started implementing neck guards. Johnson, a Minnesota native, previously played for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins announced days after Johnson’s death that the staff made the guards available for any players who wanted to wear them.
The Nottingham Panthers described Johnson as “not only an outstanding ice hockey player but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him.”
The Panthers hosted a celebration of life in Johnson’s honor and are selling memorial jerseys.
The Pittsburgh Penguins honored Johnson, who wore number 47 on his jersey, by donning “AJ 47” decals on their helmets.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said, “He was a great kid, he was a good player. Boy, he could really skate. It was a privilege to be his coach. There are no words I have to explain how I feel about the whole circumstance. It’s just an incredible tragedy.”
- Man arrested following death of ice hockey player in Sheffield – South Yorkshire Police
- Adam Johnson: 1994-2023 – Nottingham Panthers
- Penguins Players Starting to Experiment with Neck Guards – Pittsburgh Penguins
- Remembering Adam Johnson – Pittsburgh Penguins
- Adam Johnson: Coroner calls for ice hockey neck guards to be mandatory – BBC
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