Former NHL Player Adam Johnson Dies in Freak Accident During Challenge Cup Match

Former NHL Player Adam Johnson Dies in Freak Accident During Challenge Cup Match

29-year-old Minnesota native suffered a catastrophic cut to his neck from a blade during a game in England.

Adam Johnson, a former NHL player with the Pittsburgh Penguins, died after suffering a catastrophic cut to his neck from a blade during a Challenge Cup match between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers on Saturday night.

Johnson, 29, was playing for the Nottingham Panthers at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena when the accident occurred during the second period of the game. He appeared to suffer a slashed neck following a collision with a Sheffield player, whose skate accidentally cut Johnson’s neck.

Johnson (pictured) suffered a horrific injury during a nightmare tackle

The Nottingham Panthers confirmed Johnson’s death on Sunday morning. In a statement, the club said: “The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night. The Panthers would like to send our thoughts and condolences to Adam’s family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time. Everyone at the club including players, staff, management and ownership are heartbroken.”

Witnesses described the incident as horrific, with many fans in tears as the match was abandoned. Christian Bennett, a Guardian journalist who was at the match, said: “The Sheffield player clearly got knocked off his feet and his skate went up and slit [the other player’s] throat. I’ve never seen that amount of blood come out of anyone at any sort of pace. It is one of the grimmest things I’ve ever seen at a sports event.”

The American athlete is believed to have been stuck in the neck by an ice hockey blade in a freak accident. Pictured: Moments before the tragedy

The UK Elite League announced that all games scheduled to take place on Sunday 29 October were postponed in light of the news. The league said in a statement: “The thoughts and condolences of everyone connected with the EIHL are with Adam’s family, friends and teammates at this incredibly sad and difficult time. We would also ask everyone to respect the privacy of Adam’s family at this time.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins also released a statement, saying: “The Pittsburgh Penguins join the entire hockey world in mourning the life of Adam Johnson, whose life tragically ended far too soon. We offer our deepest condolences to Adam’s family and friends, as well as all of Adam’s past and present teammates and coaches. Adam will always be part of the Penguins family.”

Around 8,000 fans saw the nightmare collision last night before the game was quickly stopped and screens were brought onto the pitch to protect the players involved. The match was later abandoned

Johnson had signed for the Panthers in August after a career that included playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Malmö Redhawks in Sweden, and Augsburger Panther in Germany. He had scored a goal and three assists for the Penguins during his NHL career.

Johnson’s death has shocked the hockey community, with clubs from across the league expressing their condolences on social media. Jason Morgan, head coach of Glasgow Clan ice hockey club, said: “It’s a sad day for the sport as we mourn one of our own.” Other league teams, such as Manchester Storm and Leeds Knights, also expressed their condolences on Twitter.

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