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Ice Hockey league refuses to make rule change after death of player Adam Johnson

Ice Hockey league refuses to make rule change after death of player Adam Johnson

Hopes have been dashed

All eyes have been on ice hockey since Adam Johnson's tragic death after a 'freak accident' on the rink last week.

Nottingham Panthers star Johnson passed away after he was injured during a match against the Sheffield Steelers on 28 October.

The Minnesota-born sportsman was accidentally cut in the neck by opposing player Matt Petgrave during the derby clash, which was watched by more than 8,000 fans.

An inquest into the 29-year-old's death has been opened, but South Yorkshire Police said the investigation 'is likely to take some time'.

Adam Johnson died after his neck was cut by another player's skate.
Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sporting fans called for further safety measures to be brought in, with ice hockey officials urged to bring in neck guards to prevent further horror incidents in the future.

Czechoslovakian star Richard Zednik suffered a similar injury in 2008, but managed to survive despite losing five pints of blood.

Despite pressure from fans and other skaters, the UK's top ice hockey division said it will not make neck guards compulsory.

The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) previously said the safety gear would be mandatory from 2024 onwards.

However, this will not impact the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), which is a separate entity that is not under its jurisdiction.

Although the EIHL 'strongly encourage' the use of neck guards, it is not bringing in a rule making them mandatory.

Current rules state that ice hockey players do not have to use neck guards after they turn 18.

A spokesperson for the EIHL said: "We are devastated by the loss of Adam's life, and our thoughts remain with his family, team-mates and everyone else affected during this difficult time.

Sporting officials were urged to make neck guards mandatory in the wake of the tragedy.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

"Player safety and welfare is our top priority and we work with players, officials, clubs, and the relevant authorities to review research and advice to understand how we continually enhance the safety of our sport.

"All clubs continue to follow the existing guidance from the International Ice Hockey Federation, that the use of a BNQ or other ISO Standard neck laceration protector is recommended.

"The Elite Ice Hockey League strongly encourages players and officials to wear one and clubs and the League will continue to support players and officials to do so."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: Bruce Bennett/Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

Topics: Sport, UK News, News