Adam Johnson played in the National Hockey League with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a forward from 2018 to 2020. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)
American hockey player Adam Johnson has died following a “freak accident” during a game in England on Saturday. The former National Hockey League forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins was 29.
Johnson was playing for the Nottingham Panthers in the UK Elite League against the Sheffield Steelers Saturday night when he suffered a serious cut to the neck from a skate during the game at Utilita Arena Sheffield, The Associated Press and BBC reports.
The Nottingham Panthers announced his death on social media early Sunday morning, writing on X (formerly Twitter) that the “incredible” athlete died “following a freak accident.”
“The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night,” the team wrote.
“The Panthers would like to send our thoughts to Adam’s family, his partner and all his friends at this extremely difficult time,” the organization wrote.
The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night. pic.twitter.com/lhSOkDu03Q
— The Nottingham Panthers (@PanthersIHC) October 29, 2023
“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 following today’s news,” it continued.
The team didn’t reveal details on what happened to Johnson but went on to “thank everyone who rushed to support Adam last night in the most testing of circumstances.”
Johnson hailed from Minnesota and played college hockey for the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. He previously played in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins as a forward from 2018 to 2020, ESPN reported.
The NHL expressed “prayers and deepest condolences” for Johnson’s family, friends and teammates in a statement posted on X on Sunday. The Penguins also posted a tribute to Johnson on X, writing that “Adam will always be a part of the Penguins family.”
The Elite Ice Hockey League announced on X that all games scheduled to take place Sunday will be postponed.
“We would also ask everyone to respect the privacy of Adam’s family at this time,” the league added.