British Police open investigation into death of hockey player Adam Johnson, who was killed by opposing player’s skate blade

British police launched an investigation on Saturday evening, which remains ongoing, into the death of hockey player Adam Johnson, who had his neck slit open by an opposing player’s skate.

During Saturday’s game between the Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers, the latter of which Minnesota native Johnson played for, South Yorkshire police responded to reports that a player had been "seriously injured."

"Officers attended the scene alongside other emergency services and one man, aged in his 20s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Sadly, he was later pronounced deceased at hospital," police said in a Monday statement.

"Our officers remain at the scene carrying out enquiries and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remain ongoing," the statement added. "We would encourage the public to avoid speculation regarding the incident while we continue our enquiries."

Johnson, who played for the NHL's Pittsburg Penguins before transferring to the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) in August, collided with opposing team player Matt Petgrave during the game, receiving a skate blade to the neck when Petgrave kicked his leg up.

Johnson immediately fell to the ice, with blood quickly appearing around him. Johnson was transported to a nearby hospital and was pronounced dead the next morning.

The Nottingham Panthers released a statement early Sunday morning confirming his death following the "freak accident."

While some have maintained that this was a freak accident as a result of the often rough sport, others have opined that it was an intentional assault by Petgrave.

One post to Reddit read, "if you seriously think Matt Petgrave 'murdered' Adam Johnson, go f*ck yourself. The guy was balling his eyes out on the ice and in the dressing room and probably still is right now."

The post later added, "his foot clearly clipped the skate of another player causing him to lose balance, so even [if] he did kick his leg out, he had very little control over where his leg was going."

"It was a deliberate cheap shot from a dirty player with the most penalty minutes in the league," wrote DC Draino.

Notably, this is not the first death to occur as a result of another player’s blade. In 2022, a Connecticut high school player, 10th grader Teddy Balkind, was rushed to the hospital after his neck was slit open by a skate blade. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the New York Post.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Clint Malarchuk suffered a similar injury during a 1989 game, but miraculously survived, according to the CBC.

Florida Panthers player Richard Zednik was also hit in the neck, slicing his carotid artery during a 2008 game.

Image: Title: johnson