• Adam Johnson was a former NHL star
  • He has died in a freak accident
  • THIS is what happened during a game

Police in England are investigating the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, who died in what his team described as a "freak accident" during Saturday's game. The Nottingham Panthers, who play in England's Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), announced Sunday that Johnson died after his throat was cut by a skate blade during a collision in Saturday's game against the Sheffield Steelers. Johnson was 29.

Johnson was representing the Nottingham Panthers in England when the dreadful incident unfolded. As the ex-Pittsburgh Penguins center was maneuvering the puck across the blue line, a Sheffield Steelers player's skate struck Johnson in the throat area. Despite immediate medical attention, Johnson succumbed to his injuries.

Adam died doing what he loved

The South Yorkshire Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. They have urged the public to avoid speculation while their enquiries are ongoing. The Nottingham Panthers described the incident as a "freak accident," expressing their devastation. "Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam's passing," the team stated.

Johnson, who played for the Penguins in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, had recently signed on to play for the Panthers. The Pittsburgh Penguins expressed their grief, stating, "Adam will always be a part of the Penguins family. It was our honor to watch him fulfill his dream of playing in the National Hockey League."

The player received emergency treatment on the ice before being taken to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital. Nearly 8,000 fans at Sheffield's Utilita Arena were asked to leave the building because of what the Panthers announced as a "major medical emergency."

South Yorkshire Police announced Monday that "officers remain at the scene carrying out enquiries and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remain ongoing."

He was quite a superstar

Johnson appeared in 13 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins over parts of two seasons from 2018 to 2020, scoring one goal and registering four assists. He spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and also played for the AHL affiliates of the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers.

Johnson was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and played at Minnesota-Duluth. He started his overseas career in 2020 and was in his first season with the Panthers.

Other stars of the game have been quick to share their condolences as well. 

This whole incident has once again brought up the issue of protecting and safeguarding players in a more complete way with experts weighing in on the video

"It is unacceptable for any player to lose their life while playing sport," the EIHA said. "Our responsibility is not only to avert the recurrence of such a heartbreaking accident, but also to pre-emptively address other foreseeable incidents in the future."

Also interesting:

The incident has caused some to accuse opponent Matt Petgrave of slashing Johnson’s throat intentionally. Some believe he had no reason to raise his leg the way he did, and his reputation as a dirty player hasn’t helped.

Players in the U.K. are allowed to play without neck guards after they turn 18. But neck guards are not mandatory in the NHL either. In Canada, where hockey is the national sport, the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League mandate players to wear neck guards. Hockey Canada also requires players registered in minor or women's hockey to wear neck protection.

In the wake of Johnson's death, the Panthers have postponed their game against the Glasgow Clan on Tuesday. Further changes to the schedule are being considered, as the team added...