SHEFFIELD, G.B. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – A member of the Sheffield Steelers hockey team has been arrested and charged with manslaughter in the death of another player, Adam Johnson, during a game in England on October 28th. While police did not immediately release the name of the arrestee, that person is believed to be Matt Petgrave, who briefly played with the Utica Comets three seasons ago.
Johnson, who had played with several AHL teams including the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms before joining the British Elite Hockey League, was hit in the neck by a skate in the center ice neutral zone in a game in England on October 28th. Johnson attempted to get off the ice, but collapsed before being able to do so. He passed away at a hospital a short time later.
Video of the play shows Johnson advancing the puck through the neutral zone with Petgrave coming at Johnson on an angle. One of Johnson’s teammates screens Petgrave but does not make significant contact with Petgrave. Petgrave’s left leg comes up high and hits Johnson in the neck.
Members of Johnson’s family in the U.S. have said that they feel that Petgrave’s play was reckless but not intentional.