On Tuesday, the South Yorkshire (England) Police announced that a man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson.
The arrest comes more than two weeks since police began investigating the incident that led to Johnson’s death on October 28.
Man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after death of Nottingham Panthers ice hockey player Adam Johnson
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) November 14, 2023
Johnson was playing for the Nottingham Panthers in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) when his throat was cut by a skate blade during a collision in a Champions Cup game in Sheffield, England, against the Sheffield Steelers.
Ice Hockey Death Arrest – Adam Johnson. Police have now arrested the other player for Manslaughter. Guilty or accidental part of the game? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/eaRjmjzzd8
— 🇬🇧RonEnglish🇬🇧🏴 (@RonEng1ish) November 14, 2023
South Yorkshire Police said in a statement that a postmortem examination confirmed Johnson died from a fatal neck injury. The man, whose identity was not released by the police, remains in custody.
“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 Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said. “We have been speaking to highly specialized 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.”Advertisement
An Arrest has been made for manslaughter in the hockey slashing death of Adam Johnson in the UK
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 14, 2023
The player whose skate blade cut Johnson’s neck was Matt Petgrave, 31, who plays for Sheffield.
According to The Associated Press, video of the incident showed Johnson skating with the puck toward the Steelers’ net. Petgrave skated toward Johnson and collided with another Panthers player, and Petgrave’s left skate kicked up as he began to fall and the blade hit Johnson in the neck.
Both players landed on the ice, and Petgrave immediately got to his feet. Johnson rose more slowly and was helped off the ice, with his jersey covered in blood. He later died at a local hospital.
Johnson’s death has since prompted a number of different leagues throughout the sport to examine their player safety measures when it comes to potentially using neck protection devices.
Johnson’s former NHL team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, said it would mandate that its AHL and ECHL affiliates wear neck protection devices. A few days later, the Western Hockey League announced that it would be making neck protection devices mandatory for its players.