American ice hockey player Adam Johnson, who played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 13 NHL games between 2019 and 2020, passed away at the age of 29 after suffering a neck injury from a skate blade during a game in England on Saturday, according to his team.
During a Challenge Cup match between the Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena, Johnson, a player for the Panthers, sustained a skate injury during the second period of the Elite Ice Hockey League game.
The Nottingham Panthers expressed deep sorrow as they announced the tragic passing of Adam Johnson. He was involved in a freak accident during the game in Sheffield last night. This statement was made by the team on Sunday.
The Panthers express our sympathies and condolences to Adam’s family, partner, and friends during this challenging time. The entire club, including players, staff, management, and ownership, are deeply saddened by the news of Adam’s death.
Johnson, who is from Minnesota, played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL for 13 games during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. He then played for the Malmo Redhawks in Sweden during the 2020-21 season, recording one goal and three assists for the Penguins.
The Pittsburgh Penguins released a statement on Sunday expressing their sadness and condolences for the untimely passing of Adam Johnson. They join the entire hockey community in mourning his loss and extend their heartfelt sympathies to Adam’s loved ones, as well as his former and current teammates and coaches. The Penguins consider Adam a cherished member of their family.
Johnson participated in collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, contributing to the team’s appearance in two NCAA Tournaments. In the 2017 tournament, he secured a victory in overtime, propelling Minnesota-Duluth to the Frozen Four after defeating Boston University.
He was also a member of three teams in the American Hockey League and played for the Augsburger Panther in Germany during the 2022-23 season before signing with Nottingham for this current season.
The team expressed their condolences to the fans and staff of both clubs, particularly those who were present at or watching the game and will be deeply affected by today’s news.
The Panthers express their gratitude to all those who offered their support to Adam during last night’s difficult situation. Adam, also known as number 47, was not only a skilled ice hockey player, but also a wonderful teammate and an extraordinary individual with a bright future ahead of him. The team will deeply mourn his loss and he will always hold a special place in their memories.
The league declared that the three matches planned for Sunday in Belfast, Fife, and Guildford have been delayed due to Johnson’s passing. Additionally, Nottingham’s game set for Tuesday has also been postponed.
Ian Laperriere, the coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL, expressed his disappointment upon hearing the news about Johnson’s situation.
“Great kid (and) teammate,” Laperriere said in a text message. “Only great things to say about him.”
Throughout its existence, the National Hockey League (NHL) has faced numerous incidents involving skate cuts. One of the most infamous cases occurred on March 22, 1989, when Buffalo goaltender Clint Malarchuk was struck in the neck by a blade during a game against St. Louis. Despite the severity of the injury, Malarchuk received prompt medical treatment and was able to return to playing just 10 days later.
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