Adam Johnson, a former forward with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, died from a freak-on ice accident Saturday night while playing for the Nottingham Panthers in England.
The Phantoms are the Philadelphia Flyers’ top minor-league affiliate.
Johnson, 29, played a total of 13 NHL games — all with the Pittsburgh Penguins — and had a goal and two assists. The Minnesota native played 30 games with the Phantoms in 2021-22, collecting 12 points (four goals, eight assists).
In the second period of a game Saturday night against Sheffield, he collided with an opposing player and his neck was apparently slashed with a skate blade.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) October 29, 2023
The team announced his death Sunday, saying it was “devastated” and “heartbroken,” and that it sent thoughts and condolences to his family, his partner, and all his friends” at this extremely difficult time.
“The Panthers would like to thank everyone who rushed to support Adam last night in the most testing of circumstances,” the team added in the statement.
Fans were asked to leave the arena “due to a major medical emergency.” A reported 8,000 fans attended the game.
Nottingham plays in the Elite Ice Hockey League, regarded as England’s top league. The league announced that all three games Sunday were postponed because of Johnson’s death.
Johnson also played in Sweden and Germany before joining Nottingham this season.
The Phantoms sent condolences and prayers to Johnson’s family, friends and former teammates.
“Adam was a wonderful person with positive energy and was also a great teammate during his time in Lehigh Valley in the 2021-22 season,” the club said in a statement. “His life was far too short.”