Ex-NHL player Adam Johnson, 29, dies after ‘freak accident’

Oct 29, 2023, 06:57 AM ET
2 Minute Read

Former NHL player Adam Johnson tragically passed away after a “freak accident” during his English team’s game on Saturday. He was only 29 years old.

The Nottingham Panthers, a team in England’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), expressed their profound sadness over the news of Adam’s untimely death.

The game between the Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers was halted when Johnson was involved in a collision on the ice during the second period. Emergency treatment was provided to Johnson on the spot, and the players returned to the locker room after he was taken to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.

A “major medical emergency” was declared by the Panthers, causing nearly 8,000 fans at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena to evacuate the building.

Adam Johnson was in his first season with the EIHL’s Nottingham Panthers. He appeared in 13 games for the Penguins from 2018 to 2020.Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire

“Everyone at the club, including players, staff, management, and ownership, is devastated by Adam’s passing,” stated the Panthers. “Our thoughts go out to the fans and staff of both teams, especially those who witnessed or followed the game, who will be deeply affected by this tragic news.

“The Panthers would like to express gratitude to everyone who provided support to Adam in his time of need.

“Adam, our beloved number 47, was not just an exceptional ice hockey player, but also an incredible teammate and a remarkable person with a bright future ahead of him. His absence will be felt deeply by the Club, and he will never be forgotten.”

The EIHL announced the postponement of all Sunday’s games.

“The EIHL, along with its entire community, extends heartfelt condolences to Adam’s family, friends, and teammates during this incredibly sad and difficult period,” stated the league.

Johnson played in 13 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins between 2018 and 2020, scoring one goal and contributing four assists. He also played for the AHL affiliates of the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers, in addition to spending time with the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

“The Pittsburgh Penguins join the entire hockey world in grieving the loss of Adam Johnson, whose life ended tragically and prematurely,” expressed the Penguins in a statement. “We offer our deepest condolences to Adam’s family and friends, as well as all of Adam’s current and former teammates and coaches. Adam will forever hold a place in the Penguins family. It was an honor to witness him fulfill his dream of playing in the National Hockey League.”

Adam Johnson, born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, played college hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He began his overseas career in 2020 and was enjoying his first season with the Panthers.


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