Man charged in death of hockey player who suffered gash to neck

Former NHL player Adam Johnson died in late October after colliding with another player during a game in England.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Adam Johnson in action during an NHL hockey game
Posted at 2:56 PM, Nov 14, 2023

Authorities in England revealed on Tuesday that a man was arrested in connection to the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, who died after taking a skate to the neck during a game. 

Johnson, who played for the Nottingham Panthers, collided with a player on the Sheffield Steelers during a game in late October. During the collision, Johnson's throat was cut by an opposing player's skate.

Police did not release the name of the person who was arrested or say whether the suspect was the other player involved in the collision.

The Panthers initially called the incident a "freak accident." However, police have been investigating the incident for about two weeks.

Death of hockey player Adam Johnson puts neck guards into new focus
Hockey neck guards becoming more important after death of player.

Death of hockey player Adam Johnson puts neck guards into new focus

While some organizations mandate certain pieces of safety equipment like masks, pads and certain guards, neck guards aren't always mandated.


"We have been carrying out extensive inquiries to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances," said Yorkshire Police Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation. "We have been speaking to highly specialized experts in their field to assist in our inquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation."

Shortly after Johnson's death, the English Ice Hockey Association mandated neck protectors be worn during games starting Jan. 1. 

The policy has not been adopted by the NHL, where Johnson played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019.