Nottingham team hosting memorial game honoring Adam Johnson

Nov 18, 2023, 12:57 PM ET

NOTTINGHAM, England — A makeshift shrine for Adam Johnson keeps growing outside the arena where the Nottingham Panthers play hockey.

Fans have left flowers, wreaths, jerseys, team scarves and handwritten notes to honor the 29-year-old American who died after an opposing player’s skate cut his neck during a game last month in Sheffield.

“We’re not just hockey fans — we’re a hockey family,” Panthers fan Margaret Cartwright said Saturday.

Matthew Ashton/AMA/Getty Images

The death of the former Pittsburgh Penguins player has not only forced the sport to reexamine safety regulations but also sparked a criminal investigation locally that led to an arrest of a man on suspicion of manslaughter.

The Panthers haven’t played since that Oct. 28 game and will take the ice on Saturday at Motorpoint Arena against the Manchester Storm in a memorial game “to celebrate the life of Adam and the remarkable person he was,” the team said.

The game, which will be broadcast free on YouTube, does not count in the Elite Ice Hockey League standings. Instead, it’s meant to bring players and fans together as they try to move forward.

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A special tribute to Johnson is planned before the opening faceoff and the 10,000 fans at the sold-out venue will be asked to rise in the 47th minute – Johnson wore jersey No. 47 – for a minute’s applause.

A postmortem examination confirmed Johnson, who was 29, died as a result of a neck injury. South Yorkshire Police did not identify the suspect or provide his age. He was arrested Tuesday and released on bail a day later.

Matt Petgrave, a defenseman for the Sheffield Steelers, was the other player involved in the incident. Johnson had skated with the puck across the blue line – into Sheffield’s defensive zone – when Petgrave collided with another Panthers player nearby. Petgrave’s left skate kicked up as he began to fall and the blade hit Johnson in the neck.

Neither the Steelers nor the league has provided an update on…

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Publish date : 2023-11-18 17:59:41

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