Unnamed man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following death of Adam Johnson

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An unnamed man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson who was tragically killed on the ice earlier this year.

Johnson died due to a fatal cut to his neck from a skate worn by Sheffield Steelers defender Matt Petgrave whilst playing for the Nottingham Panthers in the UK’s top ice hockey division.

Described as a ‘freak accident,’ the tragedy led to the International Ice Hockey Federation making neck guards mandatory for all levels of competition in their tournaments, including the Olympics.

On Tuesday, English Police arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter – he has not been named, but many believe it to be Petgrave, who has a history of lashing out with acts of violence on the rink.

“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive inquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said.

Recent events in the NHL involving star player Connor Bedard have only furthered the sport’s necessity for mandatory neck guards.

Close call tonight as Connor Bedard’s skate almost cut Mark Scheifele in the neck 😱 pic.twitter.com/shC4f9qTDJ

— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) December 28, 2023

Johnson’s teammate Westin Michaud defended Petgrave, saying the slash was an ‘unintentional clip’ and offered his support for the defender.

“The hate that Matt is receiving is terrible and completely uncalled for,” Michaud posted. “It’s clear to me his actions were unintentional and anyone suggesting otherwise is mistaken. Let’s come together and not spread unwarranted hate to someone who needs our support.” 

Johnson, who was born in Minnesota, played in 13 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 campaigns.

Some of the player’s family called Petgrave’s act ‘reckless’ and demanded justice for his death, which took the life of a talented and loved person far too soon.


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