Ice hockey fans flock to pay tribute to Adam Johnson at Nottingham Panthers rink

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    Ice Hockey fans flocked to the East Midlands to pay tribute to Nottingham Panthers star Adam Johnson who died in a horrific incident during a game.

    The 29-year-old had his throat slit by an opponent's blade while around 8,000 spectators watched in horror as Johnson lay on the ice, shielded by his team-mates. Efforts were made to try and save Johnson's life, but he was then rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    On Saturday evening, a week after the shocking turn of events at the Motorpoint Arena, Panthers fans paid their condolences to Johnson. The club commemorated Johnson by putting up a photo of him with his locker and jersey displayed next to a floral tribute.

    READ MORE:Ice hockey neck guards not made mandatory as Adam Johnson death inquest put on hold

    READ MORE:Ice hockey star had bought engagement ring for girlfriend who ID'd body after awful death

    Walking across the ice, which had been carpeted, fans walked past, offering up their respects to Johnson before signing a book of condolences. There was also a masses of flowers paid in tribute to Johnson outside the arena too.

    A private funeral for Johnson, who also played in the NHL too with the Pittsburgh Penguins, will be held on Sunday back in the US. An obituary posted on to the website of Dougherty Funeral Home in Hibbing, Minnesota read: "Adam had a quiet confidence about him and was never boastful.

    "He was never looking to be the centre of attention, but rather he preferred to listen to others and do what he could to make them feel important."

    After the Sunday funeral, there will also be a "Celebration of Life" ceremony too the following day. The passing of Johnson has sent shockwaves through the ice hockey world.

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    But despite his untimely death, it has been confirmed by the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) that players will not have to wear neck guards as standard practice.

    While the EIHA has said it will enforce the ruling from 2024 and into the future, the Elite Ice Hockey League, of which the Panthers are part of, have stated neck guards are only advisory and not compulsory. A spokesperson for the EIHL said: "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."

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