Adam Johnson: Ice hockey groups to discuss neck guard call

Ice hockey organisations say they are "working closely" after a coroner called for extra protection following the death of a player.

Nottingham Panthers' Adam Johnson suffered a fatal neck injury from a skate in a match on 28 October.

The coroner at Johnson's inquest has called for neck guards in ice hockey to be mandatory.

The Elite Hockey League (EIHL), which had earlier ruled out the move, has now said it is working on a full response.

Adam Johnson memorial
Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena has become a focus for tributes to Adam Johnson

Nottingham Panthers have described the player's death, which occurred while playing the Sheffield Steelers, as a "freak accident".

Sheffield coroner Tanyka Rawden has written a prevention of future deaths report, stating she was concerned deaths could occur in the future if neck guards were not worn.

In response to the coroner's statement, the EIHL, in which the Steelers and Panthers play, said: "We acknowledge the coroner's prevention of future deaths report that has been shared with Ice Hockey UK and the English Ice Hockey Association.

"We'll be working closely with these associations, the International Ice Hockey Federation, teams, players and officials to assess the impact of the recommendations, and will be responding to the coroner substantively in due course.

"Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Adam Johnson at this difficult time."

The English Ice Hockey Association has previously said neck guards would be mandatory from 2024 onwards, but that decision does not impact the EIHL, which is not under its control.

The Swiss-based International Ice Hockey Federation, which currently only "recommends" neck guards for over 18s, has been approached for comment.

An online fund in Johnson's memory has raised nearly £70,000.

Every Panthers games since Johnson died has been postponed, and the club has announced two games this weekend will be rescheduled.

On Wednesday, the team announced it had withdrawn from this season's Challenge Cup.

A statement from the club said: "We'd like to thank fans again for their support at this difficult time."

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