Former NHL player Adam Johnson, 29, dies after ‘freak accident’

espnOctober 29, 2023 at 06:57 AM ET2 min read

Former NHL player Adam Johnson died after a “freak accident” during his English team’s game on Saturday. He was 29 years old.

The Nottingham Panthers, who play in England’s elite ice hockey league, announced on Sunday that the organization was “saddened to hear of Adam’s death.”

Officials stopped the Panthers’ game Saturday against the Sheffield Steelers after Johnson was involved in an on-ice collision during the second half. Johnson received emergency treatment on the ice, and the players eventually returned to the locker room after being taken to North Sheffield General Hospital.

Nearly 8,000 fans at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena were asked to leave the building due to what the Panthers announced as a “major medical emergency”.

Adam Johnson was in his first season with the Nottingham Panthers of the EIHL. He appeared in 13 games for the Penguins from 2018-2020.Janine Leach/Sportswire Icon

The Panthers said in a statement: “Everyone at the club, including players, staff, management and ownership, is deeply saddened by the news of Adam’s death.” “Our thoughts are also with the fans and staff at both clubs, especially those who attended or followed the match, who will be shocked by today’s news.

“The Panthers would like to thank everyone who rushed to support Adam last night in the most difficult of circumstances.

“Adam, our number 47, was not only a great ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and a great person to have ahead of him throughout his life. The club will miss him greatly and will never forget him.”

The EIHL announced that all Sunday games have been postponed.

“The thoughts and condolences of everyone associated with the EIHL are with Adam’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad and difficult time,” the league said.

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Johnson appeared in 13 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins over two seasons from 2018-2020, scoring one goal and providing four assists. He spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and also played with the AHL affiliates of the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers.

“The Pittsburgh Penguins join the entire hockey world in mourning the loss of Adam Johnson, whose life was tragically cut too soon,” the Penguins said in a statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to Adam’s family and friends, as well as all of his past and present teammates and coaches. Adam will always be a part of the Penguins family. It has been an honor to watch him fulfill his dream of playing for the Penguins. National Hockey League.”

The NHL also issued a statement saying, “Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and teammates.”

Johnson was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and played at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He began his outside career in 2020 and was in his first season with the Panthers.

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