Adam Johnson, a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ organization for three seasons, has died after an on-ice incident during a professional game in the United Kingdom Saturday.
Johnson was a forward with the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League. His death was confirmed in a social media post by the league, which 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. In light of this deeply upsetting news, the Elite League has postponed all games to take place Sunday 29 October 2023. The thoughts and condolences of everyone connected with the EIHL are with Adam’s family, friends and teammates at this incredibly sad and difficult time. We would also ask everyone to respect the privacy of Adam’s family at this time.”
Johnson reportedly suffered a severe cut to his neck in a collision during the game at Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England. He attempted to skate back to the bench but was stopped by teammates and officials, who immediately called for medical assistance.
Players from both teams subsequently gathered around him and screens were put up while he was tended to on the ice before being taken to a local hospital. The arena then was cleared and the game postponed.
The Penguins, the only NHL team for which Johnson played, posted this on social media this morning:
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 29, 2023
Official word of Johnson’s death apparently was delayed several hours until all of his teammates could be notified.
The Panthers then issued this statement, via social media:
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
Johnson, 29, was a native of Grand Rapids, Minn., who signed as a free agent with the Penguins in 2017, after spending two seasons at Minnesota-Duluth.
He played primarily for their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, but appeared in six NHL games in 2018-2019 and seven during the following season. Johnson recorded a total of one goal and three assists.
He signed to play in Sweden in 2020-21, but ended up splitting that season between Sweden and Ontario and Lehigh Valley of the AHL. Johnson then spent a year in Germany before joining Nottingham earlier this year.