(NEW YORK) — A British professional hockey player was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of manslaughter in the on-ice death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, according to South Yorkshire police.
Johnson was killed on Oct. 28 in a game between two British professional teams, the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers. Johnson, who was playing for the Panthers, suffered a fatal neck injury when he was slashed by a skate during the game.
“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said in a statement.
The statement added, “We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.”
South Yorkshire police said Johnson’s family was being supported through the investigation and had asked for privacy.
Johnson, 29, previously played 13 games in 2019 and 2020 for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins — mostly spending time with the team’s minor league affiliate — and also spent time in the Swedish and German hockey leagues before signing with the Panthers prior to the 2023 season.
The center was from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and played for the University of Minnesota, even scoring a game-winning overtime goal in the Frozen Four in 2017. He went undrafted and signed with the Penguins following that season.
“Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world,” Horsfall said. “We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process. Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as enquiries continue.”
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