Police on Tuesday arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter over the death of ice hockey player Adam Johnson, whose neck was cut during a match in England.
Johnson, 29, was seriously injured during a Challenge Cup game between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers on October 28 and died later in hospital.
A post-mortem examination confirmed the American’s cause of death as a neck injury.
South Yorkshire Police said the man arrested was taken into custody, without giving further details.
Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said: “Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive inquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances.
“We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our inquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.” A coroner who opened the inquest into Johnson’s death warned that there could be more ice hockey deaths unless neck guards become mandatory.
The UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League has said it will not enforce mandatory wearing of the safety equipment but would “strongly encourage” players and officials to wear them.
The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), in a change to regulations, has said the guards will become mandatory from 2024, but the Elite League, which includes the Panthers, is not under the governing body’s control.
Johnson, 29, was a Minnesota native who played briefly with the Penguins in the NHL.
He had reportedly bought a ring and was planning to propose to his girlfriend Ryan Wolfe before his death.
She was among 8,000 people watching the game against Sheffield Steelers at the Utilita Arena when the tragedy unfolded.
She rushed down to the ice to be by his side as the players formed a ring around him, before protective screens were brought onto the rink.
The couple had been living together in England, with Johnson studying at Loughborough Business School alongside ice hockey.
His aunt Kari has revealed how the US-born forward was planning to propose to Ryan.
She said: “We were all really excited because we were really looking forward to their future and he didn’t get a chance to ask her, and then this happened.”
After his death, in a post shared on her Instagram Stories, Wolfe wrote alongside a photo of Johnson, “My sweet sweet angel. I’ll miss you forever and love you always.”