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Adam Johnson: Nottingham Panthers player dies after 'freak accident' in ice hockey match against Sheffield Steelers

Match between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers was stopped as Adam Johnson was treated on the ice before being taken to hospital; fans at the Sheffield Arena were asked to leave; Elite Ice Hockey League cancelled all games on Sunday

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Tributes have been paid to Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson who passed away aged 29.

Tributes have been paid to ice hockey player Adam Johnson, who died in hospital following "a freak accident" during a match on Saturday.

The 29-year-old American reportedly suffered a slashed neck during the second period of the game at Sheffield's Utilita Arena.

The game was stopped as Johnson received treatment on the ice, with players forming a ring around him before protective screens were put up. The players returned to the locker rooms before the 8,000-strong crowd made their way out of the Sheffield Arena.

Johnson was taken to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital but could not be saved.

Panthers said: "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 club will dearly miss him and will never ever forget him.

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AHL Ice Hockey team Ontario Reign pay tribute to their former player Adam Johnson who died during a match for the Nottingham Panthers in the UK at the weekend.

"Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great team-mate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him.

"The Panthers would like to send our thoughts and condolences to Adam's family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time.

"Everyone at the club including players, staff, management and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam's passing."

Following the tragic incident all of Sunday's Elite Ice Hockey League matches were postponed.

The Elite Ice Hockey League said: "The Elite Ice Hockey League is heartbroken to confirm that Nottingham Panthers forward Adam Johnson sadly passed away following a freak accident in Saturday's game between Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers.

"The thoughts and condolences of everyone connected with the EIHL are with Adam's family, friends and team mates at this incredibly sad and difficult time. We would also ask everyone to respect the privacy of Adam's family at this time."

Barrie Archer, chair of the Elite Ice Hockey Association, said: "The entire EIHA is heartbroken and deeply saddened by Adam's passing. This is a tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to Adam's family, friends and ice hockey family at this difficult time."

Sheffield Wednesday held a minute's silence at Hillsborough on Sunday ahead of their clash with Rotherham.

Oxford City Stars, who play in South Division 1 of the National Hockey League, have announced they will introduce mandatory neck guards for all players and coaching staff for on-ice activities.

A statement said: "This commitment signifies not only a significant moment for the Oxford City Stars but also a cornerstone in advocating for enhanced safety standards across the sport. We encourage other clubs to also offer these neck guards to their players. At our level of play, we strongly believe that these guards should be worn by all players.

Johnson joined the Panthers this summer to play in the Elite Ice Hockey League which has franchises across Great Britain.

During his spell for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League, Johnson scored a goal and four points in 13 games over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

He also played for the Malmo Redhawks in Sweden, the Ontario Reign in Canada and Germany's Augsburger Panther before joining Nottingham.

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