Elite Ice Hockey League Issues Statement on Player Safety Following Tragic Incident


Elite Ice Hockey League Issues Statement on Player Safety Following Tragic Incident

In the wake of the tragic death of Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson, the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) has released a statement addressing player safety. Johnson, 29, lost his life after a horrific incident during a game against Sheffield Steelers when he was cut on the neck by an opponent’s skate.

The EIHL, the highest level of ice hockey in the UK, has stated that while neck guards are “strongly encouraged,” they are not currently mandatory. This statement comes in contrast to the recent decision by the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), the governing body for the sport in England and Wales, to make it compulsory for players to wear neck guards during all on-ice activities starting in 2024.

The EIHL emphasized its commitment to player safety and welfare, expressing devastation over the loss of Adam Johnson’s life. The league assured that it prioritizes safety and collaborates with players, officials, clubs, and relevant authorities to continually enhance the sport’s safety measures. The league follows existing guidance from the International Ice Hockey Federation, recommending the use of neck laceration protectors.

As investigations into the tragic incident continue, the EIHL, along with clubs and the league, pledged ongoing support to players and officials in adopting safety measures. The league acknowledged the importance of player safety and welfare as its top priority.

In the meantime, the Nottingham Panthers, Johnson’s team, have invited fans from all clubs to gather at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena to celebrate the player’s life on November 4. The Panthers, deeply affected by the loss, have established an official fundraising page for the Love for Hibbing and Hockey Memorial Fund in honor of Adam Johnson. The fund aims to support charitable causes in Johnson’s hometown area of Hibbing, Minnesota.

The EIHL’s statement reflects the broader commitment within the ice hockey community to continuously review and enhance safety protocols, ensuring the well-being of players and the overall integrity of the sport.

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