An opponent’s skate during a Nottingham Panthers vs. Sheffield Steelers Elite Ice Hockey League game last month killed Minnesota native Adam Johnson. An arrest has been made by English police in relation to his death.
Tuesday, 17 days after the event, the arrest was made public, however South Yorkshire Police withheld the identity of the individual being held. The police department claimed in a news statement that they had “arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter.”
It is believed that the person in custody is Matt Petgrave, a hockey player from Sheffield, whose skate hit Johnson in the neck on October 28. In graphic footage from the performance, Johnson was seen falling to the ice and then trying to skate, clutching his neck, to the bench. Johnson was taken to a hospital, where he was subsequently declared dead, and blood was found all over the ice.
Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall of South Yorkshire Police stated in the release, “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.” “Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy,” Horsfall said.
“We have been in contact with very knowledgeable professionals in their domain to help with our research, and we are still collaborating closely with Sheffield City Council’s health and safety division, which is bolstering our current probe.
“The news of Adam’s passing has shocked a lot of people, from ice hockey enthusiasts worldwide to our neighbors in Sheffield. We understand that these communities will look to us to conduct this inquiry with the same level of professionalism, impartiality, and compassion as any other, and we kindly ask the public to abstain from making comments or engaging in conjecture that would impede our work. While investigations continue, our sympathies are still with everyone impacted by this tragic event.”
Johnson, 29, was a standout hockey player in high school while growing up in Hibbing, Minnesota. Before moving to play in Europe, he spent two years playing hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He then went on to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins in both the NHL and the AHL.