Adam Johnson, a former NHL player, tragically passed away at the age of 29 in a “freak accident” on the rink in the United Kingdom. The incident happened during a Nottingham Panthers vs. Sheffield Steelers game, shocking spectators and forcing the arena to be evacuated.

What Happened:

In the second period of the Nottingham Panthers’ game against the Sheffield Steelers, Adam Johnson, a forward in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), was engaged in a mid-ice collision. Reports state that the damage, dubbed a “freak accident,” is thought to have been inflicted by a skate blade to Johnson’s neck.

Unsettling video showed Johnson trying to skate back to the Panthers bench, but teammates and referees stopped him and signaled that he needed emergency medical attention. Johnson was eventually taken to a nearby hospital, where players surrounded him in a protective circle to keep spectators away.

The Fallout:

Sadly, Johnson passed on the morning following the incident, according to the Nottingham Panthers. The club released a poignant statement praising Johnson as a remarkable individual with his entire life ahead of him, a terrific teammate, and an amazing ice hockey player. The club offered its condolences to Johnson’s partner, family, friends, and the fans and personnel of both clubs that were impacted by the tragic event. The club expressed its sincere grief at the loss.

Delays and Evacuations:

Given the gravity of the situation, referees decided to call off the match, and almost 8,000 fans at the Utilita Arena Sheffield were told to leave because of a serious medical emergency. With Adam Johnson’s passing, the EIHL also made a solemn decision to postpone all of its Sunday games.

Johnson’s Career in Hockey:

Johnson, who was born in Minnesota, had a successful NHL career. From 2018 to 2020, he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins for two seasons. He participated in 13 games with the Penguins, recording one goal and four assists. He then played for the Los Angeles Kings’ and Philadelphia Flyers’ minor league clubs before traveling to Europe to play professionally.

Johnson announced his excitement about the Nottingham Panthers’ style of play when he signed on for his maiden season in August. Johnson was greeted by head coach Jonathan Paredes as a wonderful match for the group and expressed excitement for the next phase of his hockey career.