Matt Petgrave Arrested On Suspicion Of Manslaughter Over Death Of Adam Johnson

(L)NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 25: Adam Johnson #47 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 25, 2019 in New York City. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) / (R)VANCOUVER, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 12: Matt Petgrave #74 of the Vancouver Canucks poses for his official headshot for the 2019-2020 season on September 12, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
(L) Adam Johnson (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) / (R) Matt Petgrave #74 of the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
12:12 PM – Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Following the unexpected death of Nottingham Panthers hockey player Adam Johnson last month, a 31-year-old hockey player has now been charged with manslaughter.


Johnson, 29, had his throat slashed after a collision with Sheffield Steelers player Matt Pettgrave, 31. Nearly 8,000 fans watched in shock and horror as attempts were made to save Johnson’s life on the ice. 

A Sheffield coroner’s report found that Johnson “sustained an incised wound to the neck caused by the skate [blade] of another player” and he later died in the hospital as a result of the injury.

“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and 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,” detective chief superintendent Becs Horsfall said in a police statement.

“We have been speaking to highly specialized experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.”

South Yorkshire Police released a statement on Tuesday confirming that the arrested man will remain in police custody.

In a tribute to the passing of the 29-year-old, over 8,000 fans observed a moment of silence and players tapped their sticks on the ice ahead of the teams’ 2-1 win against the Coventry Blaze on Sunday. 

Johnson reportedly began his career in the American Hockey League before moving up to the National Hockey League. Additionally, he played in 13 games over two years for the Pittsburgh Penguins and also played in Germany and Sweden before playing for the Panthers during this season. 

In order to prevent future deaths of a similar nature, coroner Tanyka Rawden called for neck guards to be worn by all hockey players in professional leagues. 

The incident has been described as a “freak accident” by the Panthers. 

Authorities also said on Tuesday that officers are currently “supporting Johnson’s family while the investigation is still ongoing.”

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