Adam Johnson, a 29-year-old American ice hockey player, died after a “freak accident” during an Oct. 28 game, his team, the British professional club Nottingham Panthers, confirmed.
According to CNN, Johnson—who joined the Elite Ice Hockey League team in August—was playing in the Panthers’ Challenge Cup match at Utilita Arena Sheffield when he “appeared to suffer a serious neck injury” after a collision with a player from the opposing team, the Sheffield Steelers.
In a tribute posted to Panthers’ website and social media accounts Oct. 29, the team sent condolences to Johnson’s loved ones.
“Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam’s passing,” the statement read. “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 following 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 team continued. “The Club will dearly miss him and will never ever forget him.”
The Elite Ice Hockey League also honored Johnson after his tragic death.
“The thoughts of everyone connected with the EIHL are with Adam’s family, friends and team mates at this incredibly sad and difficult time,” the league said in a statement. “We would also ask everyone to respect the privacy of Adam’s family at this time.”
All EIHL games scheduled for Oct. 29 were postponed in light of Johnson’s passing. Prior to playing for the Panthers, Johnson—who was born in Minnesota—was a member of the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins from 2018 to 2020.
“The Pittsburgh Penguins join the entire hockey world in mourning the loss of Adam Johnson, whose life was tragically ended far too soon,” the team wrote on social media Oct. 29. “Adam will always be a part of the Penguins family. It was our honor to watch him fulfill his dream of playing in the National Hockey League.”
Throughout his career, Johnson also played for the Malmö Redhawks, the Ontario Reign, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Augsburger Panther.
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