A man has been arrested in connection to the death of former NHL hockey player Adam Johnson. The BBC confirmed the arrest on Tuesday on suspicion of manslaughter following the 29-year-old British athlete’s death on Oct. 28 during a game against the Sheffield Steelers. According to the BBC, Johnson’s cause of death was confirmed to be a result of a fatal neck injury after a post-mortem examination.
Johnson’s death was announced on social media in the early hours of Oct. 29 by his team, British ice hockey club Nottingham Panthers. The club wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the player died “following a freak accident” when opponent Matt Petgrave’s skate slashed Johnson’s neck. The Challenge Cup match between the two teams at Sheffield Arena was called off when a “major medical emergency” happened during the game’s 35th minute, prompting the game’s ending.
Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said the investigation “launched immediately following this tragedy,” and the department has “been carrying out extensive inquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances.” Horsfall said the investigation has support from the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council and that his team has been “speaking to highly specialized experts in their field to assist in our inquiries.”
Johnson, a Minnesota native, played for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins during both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, appearing in 13 games during his NHL career. The hockey player also spent time in the American Hockey League, as well as overseas in Sweden, Germany and most recently in the Elite Ice Hockey League following his college career at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
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