Following Adam Johnson‘s tragic throat slash during a hockey game, which resulted in his passing, Tyler Bertuzzi became the first NHL player to wear a neck guard.
The National Hockey League (NHL) commissioner Gary Bettman “strongly” encouraged players to wear neck guards, however, the commissioner said the league has yet to “implement mandatory equipment requirements.”
American hockey player Adam Johnson died following a “freak accident” during a hockey game last month. Fans wanted the man whose skate slit his neck, Matt Petgrave, to be charged with manslaughter. Weeks after the death, Petgrave was arrested.
Tyler Bertuzzi Sets New Trend Of Wearing Neck Guard
A few days ago, Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall noted, “Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive inquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam [Johnson] in these unprecedented circumstances.”
“We have been speaking to highly specialized experts in their field to assist in our inquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation,” Horsfall added.
Adam Johnson passed away last month after his neck was slit by a skate. Per our previous report, Sheffield’s senior coroner, Tanyka Rawden, shared that initial investigations had found that Johnson “was seriously injured.”
Adding, “He was taken by ambulance to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield where he died later that day as a result of the injuries sustained. He was identified by his fiancee, Ryan Wolfe.”
NHL Members Suggest Neck Guards Be Mandatory
After the tragic death, members of the hockey community suggested the addition of cut-resistant neckguards to player uniforms. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bertuzzi is the first player to do so.
Bertuzzi, 28, spoke to The Hockey News following the game, where he wore a neck guard for the first time. “This one was pretty comfy, and it goes pretty high,” he said, adding, “It gets a little hot at times but I’ll take it off on the bench.
In the video below, you can see the neck guard after he scores a goal.
Bertuzzi said he will “probably continue to use it” as the season continues.
NHL World Reacts To Adam Johnson’s Tragic Passing
Adam Johnson spent 13 games during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons playing for Pittsburgh in the NHL. Following his tragic death, the Penguins released a statement, which read:
“The Pittsburgh Penguins join the entire hockey world in mourning the life of Adam Johnson, whose life tragically ended far too soon. We offer our deepest condolences to Adam’s family and friends, as well as all of Adam’s past and present teammates and coaches. Adam will always be part of the Penguins family.”
The Nottingham Panthers also released a statement, which is the team Johnson was playing for when the accident occurred.
“The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night,” the team said Sunday. “The Panthers would like to send our thoughts and condolences to Adam’s family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time. Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership was heartbroken at the news of Adam’s passing.”