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Man arrested over death of ice hockey player Adam Johnson, 29, whose throat was slashed during a game in front of 8,000 fans at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena, has been granted bail for a third time

A man who was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after an ice hockey player died when his throat was slashed during a game has been released on bail again for the third time.

Nottingham Panthers star Adam Johnson, 29, was fatally injured in front of 8,000 fans at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena after being hit by the skate of his opponent Matt Petgrave on October 28 last year.

Mr Johnson was tragically pronounced dead at hospital.

The man, who police have not named, was originally arrested in November. South Yorkshire Police said the suspect’s new bail term will last until June 26 this year – while adding that Adam’s relatives are at the forefront of their minds.

A spokesman for the force said: “On 14 November 2023, a man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. He was later released on bail.

Nottingham Panthers star Adam Johnson, 29, was fatally injured in front of 8,000 fans at Sheffield's Utilita Arena after being hit by the skate of his opponent Matt Petgrave on October 28 last year.

Nottingham Panthers star Adam Johnson, 29, was fatally injured in front of 8,000 fans at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena after being hit by the skate of his opponent Matt Petgrave on October 28 last year.

Floral tributes left for Mr Johnson at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.  The man, who police have not named, was originally arrested in November.  South Yorkshire Police said the suspect's new bail term will last until June 26 this year - while adding that Adam's relatives are at the forefront.

Floral tributes left for Mr Johnson at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham. The man, who police have not named, was originally arrested in November. South Yorkshire Police said the suspect’s new bail term will last until June 26 this year – while adding that Adam’s relatives are at the forefront.

Fans lay flowers outside Motor Point Arena in Nottingham.  Mr. Johnson's death shocked the ice hockey world

Fans lay flowers outside Motor Point Arena in Nottingham. Mr. Johnson’s death shocked the ice hockey world

“Today he was released again on bail until June 26, 2024.

“Adam’s loved ones remain at the forefront of our minds as this complex investigation continues.”

A post-mortem examination confirmed he died as a result of a fatal neck injury, raising concerns about the lack of neck protection used in the sport.

The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) has said neck protection will become mandatory from 2024, but the Elite League, in which the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers compete, is not under its control.

The Elite Ice Hockey League said it would not make the use of neck guards mandatory but would “strongly encourage” players and officials to wear them.

An inquest which opened into his death previously heard how Ryan Wolfe’s fiancee, who was living in the UK at the time, identified his body in hospital.

Mr Johnson joined Nottingham Panthers in August after spells in Germany and Sweden.

He previously played 13 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins in North America’s National Hockey League, the sport’s elite competition.

His death shocked the ice hockey world and one of his teammates recently revealed that he still has flashbacks of the horrifying incident.

Victor Bjorkung, who was part of the rink that day, playing against the Sheffield Steelers said: “It still feels unreal. I think about it every day, more or less. I get a lot of flashbacks and they are not very pleasant.

Mr Bjorkung told the Panthers he would not be returning to the club after the incident and has since returned to his native Sweden.