Former NHL Players React to Tragic Death of Adam Johnson
Former professional hockey players are weighing in on the tragic death of former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Adam Johnson, 29, who died after a collision during an Elite Ice Hockey League game on Saturday.
Reports and graphic video indicate Johnson collided with another player during a game in England and suffered a cut to the neck from Sheffield Steelers’ Matt Petgrave’s skate, NHL.com reported.
Sean Avery’s Perspective
Sean Avery, who played in the NHL for over a decade, said on “Jesse Watters Primetime” that footage of the incident shows Petgrave was “absolutely” trying to make contact with Johnson in some way, but said the player was not trying to “murder” someone.
“Did this kid make a move that was very unorthodox? Do I think he was trying to make contact of some sort? Absolutely,” Avery said of Petgrave. “Do I think he woke up and said I’m going to murder somebody today? No.”
“I saw the hit … I saw the leg move,” he continued. “It shouldn’t have been where it was. It’s terrible. I can’t even watch the video back.”
Avery emphasized that the footage is “terrible” and “tough to watch,” and seemed to push back when Watters suggested the play could have been “homicide.”
“That’s a pretty dangerous word to be throwing around,” Avery said.
“I’m not saying it was premeditated murder, but they do have reckless homicide, negligent homicide,” Watters argued. “When you’re throwing a blade, as you said, that’s dangerous up to someone’s neck in a hockey move that no one’s ever seen before. I don’t like it.”
Chris Therien’s Reaction
Former NHL player Chris Therien reacted to the incident, too, posting on X, “After seeing the incident involving Adam Johnson, that Bush league needs to shut down for investigation immediately.”
“I was literally appalled and sickened by what I saw,” Therien added. “It looked intentional. It was a Kung fu kick. My eyes are not lying tell me I’m wrong.”
The South Yorkshire Police, who were called to the scene on Saturday, announced Monday that they are investigating the fatal incident.
“Our officers remain at the scene carrying out inquiries and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remain ongoing,” a statement said, according to Fox News. “We would encourage the public to avoid speculation regarding the incident while we continue our inquiries.”
Johnson’s team, the Nottingham Panthers, have called the fatal collision a “freak accident.”
“The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night,” the team said in a statement posted Sunday. “The Panthers would like to send our thoughts and condolences to Adam’s family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time.
The Elite Ice Hockey League, likewise, called the incident a “freak accident.”
“The Elite Ice Hockey League is heartbroken to confirm that Nottingham Panthers forward Adam Johnson sadly passed away following a freak accident in Saturday’s game between Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers,” the league said, adding that further games over the weekend would be postponed.
Johnson’s fiancée, Ryan Wolf, was reportedly at the game and witnessed the injury. She ran onto the ice after the collision. “My sweet angel,” Wolf wrote in the post honoring Johnson via Instagram. “I’ll miss you forever and love you always.”
In light of Adam Johnson’s death, what conversations have been sparked within the hockey community regarding player safety and the prevention of similar accidents in the future
They are launching an investigation into the tragic death of former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Adam Johnson. Johnson, 29, passed away after a collision during an Elite Ice Hockey League game in England. The incident was caught on graphic video footage, indicating that Johnson collided with another player, Matt Petgrave of the Sheffield Steelers, and suffered a fatal cut to the neck from Petgrave’s skate.
Former NHL players have since reacted to this devastating incident, providing their perspectives on the nature of the collision and expressing their shock and disbelief. One such player is Sean Avery, who played in the NHL for over a decade. Avery appeared on “Jesse Watters Primetime” and analyzed the footage of the incident. He concluded that Petgrave was trying to make contact with Johnson, but he did not believe there was intent to harm or murder someone.
Avery stated, “Did this kid make an unorthodox move? Do I think he was trying to make contact of some sort? Absolutely. Do I think he woke up and said, ‘I’m going to murder somebody today’? No.” Avery continued, sharing his discomfort in watching the video and emphasizing the severity of the situation. He seemed hesitant when Watters suggested that the play could be considered “homicide,” cautioning against throwing dangerous words around.
Another former NHL player, Chris Therien, also reacted to the incident, expressing his shock and outrage on social media. Therien called for an immediate investigation, stating, “After seeing the incident involving Adam Johnson, that Bush league needs to shut down for investigation immediately.” He described the incident as intentional, comparing it to a Kung fu kick and expressing his disbelief.
The South Yorkshire Police, who responded to the scene on Saturday, have announced that they will be launching an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Johnson’s death. This tragic incident has sparked conversations about player safety in hockey and the need for measures to prevent similar accidents in the future.
The hockey community is united in mourning the loss of Adam Johnson and offering condolences to his family and friends. Former NHL players, like Sean Avery and Chris Therien, have provided their insights and reactions to the incident, highlighting the need for a thorough investigation and calling for increased safety measures in the sport. As the investigation progresses, it is hoped that lessons can be learned from this tragedy to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
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