Sports fans everywhere have been shaking their head after hockey player Adam Johnson had his neck slashed by a skate and died right on the ice. Police in South Yorkshire (England) announced an arrest in connection with a man suspicious of manslaughter, but they didn’t specify the man’s name. Many people speculate that man could be hockey player Matt Petgrave whose skate went high enough to slash Adam Johnson on the neck.

It’s obviously unclear if the kick was intentional or not, but if it’s a manslaughter charge, that means Petgrave likely did not mean for his skate blade to connect with Johnson’s neck, but he could have tried to kick the opposing player. What happened instead, was just absolutely horrific in every way possible. Petgrave has a reputation of a somewhat dirty player, but I personally don’t think he meant to slice the opposing player’s neck, but it’s definitely possible he tried to kick Adam Johnson with his skate – except the worst possible thing happened and hockey player Adam Johnson died on the ice.

Sports Illustrated reported on the arrest about an hour ago, from the time this was published, and their criminal report said the following about who was arrested:

The assumption is that the arrested individual is Sheffield hockey player Matt Petgrave, whose skate struck Johnson in the neck during the Oct. 28 game. Horrific video of the play saw Johnson fall to the ice and then attempt to skate to the bench while holding his neck. Blood covered the ice and Johnson was later pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital.

“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” South Yorkshire Police Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said in the release.

Trending Views reported on hockey player Adam Johnson’s death, saying the following in their initial sports report:

A ‘freak’ accident happened on the ice that caused a former NHL player to die on the ice in the middle of a live game. The player, 29-year-old Adam Johnson, is an American who played in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins for a handful of games during the 2019 and 2020 season. He was currently playing for the Nottingham Panthers when a player from the Sheffield Steelers cut Adam Johnson’s throat with an ice skate as the opposing player’s foot when high in the air, striking Adam Johnson in the neck, who then died on the ice after bleeding profusely. This game was in the Elite Ice Hockey League and was being played at the Sheffield Utilita Arena, as reported in a sports news article by AP.

So what’s next? The police will likely do an investigation and consult with experts to determine if Matt Petgrave intentionally tried to kick Adam Johnson, and then determine if this should really be considered manslaughter or not. Manslaughter is basically causing someone to die, but not meaning to. It would mean Matt Petgrave would be basically guilty of killing Adam Johnson, but accidentally – not intentionally, if found guilty.

No matter how anyone puts this, it was a terrible tragedy that no one ever wants to see happen in any sport. Does Matt Petgrave’s reputation of being a dirty player hurt his case? It could, because it could make the high kick look intentional. If his reputation was spotless, then it would be looked at like an accident, and it probably was accidental. Do you think Matt Petgrave woke up thinking to himself: “I’m going to slash someone’s neck with my skate today?” I don’t think that was in his mind, but it’s definitely possible he tried to kick Adam Johnson.

But let’s make one thing clear – I’m no expert and I’m not the police or a court of law. Matt Petgrave’s future lays in the hands of this investigation and the results of his arrest – if that was him who was arrested. They still need to confirm it’s him, but most people are speculating this was the man who was arrested, just not yet announced.

And, by the time you read this, it may have already been confirmed. Check your local sports resources to see if Matt Petgrave was confirmed to be the man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. Watch the Adam Johnson video below:

Photo screenshot from embedded video

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Frank is a Phillies and Eagles fan, gamer nerd (Destiny 2), and Dad who graduated from Kutztown in PA. He played lacrosse in college and the PBLA, the Philly box league that featured many top tier college and pro players. He now runs up and down the basketball courts in hopes of maybe scoring once or twice. He works as webmaster and advertising specialist for many big name websites outside of sports. He also thinks writing in 3rd person is dumb as shit. I wrote this myself bro.

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