The Nottingham Panthers have confirmed that forward Adam Johnson has died after sustaining fatal injuries during a Challenge Cup fixture versus the Sheffield Steelers on Saturday [28 October].
The 29-year-old was hit in the neck by a skate in the 35th minute of the game at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, with play suspended and fans asked to leave the facility as he received treatment from paramedics on the ice.
“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,” the club wrote in a social media statement.
“Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam’s passing. Our thoughts are also with the fans and staff of both clubs, especially those who attended or were following the game, who will be devastated by today’s news. The Panthers would like to thank everyone who rushed to support Adam last night in the most testing of circumstances.
“Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him. The Club will dearly miss him and will never forget him.”
Immediately after the incident, players from both teams formed a circle around Johnson before protective screens were raised and both sides returned to the locker rooms.
Elite League postpones fixture list after the death of Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson
“In light of this deeply upsetting news, the Elite League has postponed all games scheduled to take place on Sunday, 29 October,” wrote a league spokesperson on social media.
“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 like to ask everyone to respect the privacy of Adam’s family at this time.”
Johnson – who was born in Hibbing, Minnesota – played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Malmo Redhawks, Ontario Reign, Leigh Valley Phantoms, Augsburger Panther, and University of Minnesota-Duluth earlier in his career.