Coventry Blaze has paid a touching tribute to Nottingham Panthers’ Adam Johnson after he died following a ‘freak accident.’ He suffered a fatal cut to his neck from an ice skate at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield.

Johnson, 29, was playing for Nottingham Panthers against Sheffield Steelers when he collided with an opponent and sustained a gash to his neck, reports the Daily Star. Although he was quickly attended to by paramedics, he was later pronounced dead in Northern General Hospital.

Coach for Coventry Blaze Danny Stewart and Dundee Stars’ Marc LeFebvre laid a wreath in tribute to Johnson at the Skydome Arena on Saturday (November 4). Fans fell silent before erupting into applause as they remembered the 29-year-old American.

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Originally from Minnesota, Johnson was described as ‘an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him.’ Thousands have been rocked by the tragedy on Saturday, October 28. A sea of floral tributes and candles has been left outside the Skydome Arena on Croft Road.

Johnson was laid to rest in Hibbing, Minnesota on Sunday (November 5). His devastated teammates have set up a GoFundMe to ‘support local charitable activities as selected by the Johnson family’ which has currently raised over £60,000.

Nottingham Panthers' Adam Johnson
Nottingham Panthers’ Adam Johnson

South Yorkshire Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding his death and have studied footage of the collision, spoken to experts and carried out inquiries at Utilita Arena. Investigators have said that the inquiry into his death ‘will take some time.’

It has been reported that The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) has introduced new laws to make it mandatory for players to wear neck guards from 2024. Coroner Tanyka Rawden said that she is ‘sufficiently concerned that deaths may occur in the future’ if they are not worn, reports the Daily Star.

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