Former NHL player Adam Johnson died following a “freak accident” on the ice in the UK Saturday as fans were urged to evacuate the building.
He was 29 years old.
Johnson, a forward for the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), was involved in a mid-ice collision midway through the second period against the Sheffield Steelers.
The injury is believed to have been caused by a skate blade to Johnson’s neck, according to the BBC.
Johnson attempted to skate back to the Panthers’ bench before he was stopped by officials and his teammates who signaled for help, the disturbing clip showed.
The outlet reported that players formed a ring and had screens around Johnson to shield him from worried onlookers as he was later transported to a local hospital.
The team announced Johnson’s death the morning after the tragedy.
“Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him,” the Panthers said in a statement. “The Club will dearly miss him and will never forget him.”
Officials stopped the game and the Panthers said players had returned to the locker rooms.
Roughly 8,000 people at Utilita Arena Sheffield were “asked to leave the building due to a major medical emergency,” the Panthers announced on X.
“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 team added. “Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam’s passing.
“Our thoughts are also with the fans and staff of both clubs, especially those who attended or were following the game, who will be devastated following today’s news.”
The EIHL postponed all games on Sunday following Johnson’s death.
Johnson, a Minnesota native, spent two seasons with the Penguins from 2018 to 2020.
He appeared in 13 games and tallied one goal and four assists during his stint in Pittsburgh.
He later played for the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers minor league affiliates before he signed on to play overseas in Europe.
Johnson was in his first season with the Panthers, who are based in central England.
Nottingham head coach Jonathan Paredes praised Johnson as a perfect fit when he signed with the club in August.
“Nottingham looks like a great spot,” Johnson said at the time. “I have heard great things and I really like the look of the rink. It sounds like the club want to play fast and offensive, so it should be a fun style of hockey and I am looking forward to it.”