Adam Johnson was humble, type and sensible, and most of all an athlete.
Hundreds gathered Monday to recollect the 29-year-old American hockey participant who died after his neck was lower by a skate blade.
The 29-year-old Johnson died late final month after being lower by a blade throughout a sport in England. Johnson, who appeared in 13 NHL video games with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019 and 2020, was enjoying for the Nottingham Panthers in a Problem Cup sport towards the Sheffield Steelers when he suffered the skate lower in the course of the Elite Ice Hockey League contest.
Household, mates and former teammates gathered to rejoice the lifetime of the previous Hibbing Excessive Faculty, College of Minnesota-Duluth, Penguins and Nottingham participant.
“Adam was a joyful, type human being. He had a quiet unselfishness about him, however he was a man you needed to be round the entire time,” mentioned James Perunovich, a spokesperson for the Johnson household. “He did not should say a lot. You have been a greater particular person because of assembly him.
“Everybody knew who Adam was. He wasn’t only a super hockey participant. He was an incredible athlete. Every thing he did, he excelled at.”
‘He was simply joyful’
The memorial was held a day after Johnson’s funeral. Scott Pionk, additionally a household spokesman, relayed how former Hibbing assistant coach Grant Clafton described Johnson.
“He mentioned Adam was often called joyfully grumpy, however as soon as he met Ryan [Johnson’s fiancée Ryan Wolfe], he was simply joyful,” Pionk mentioned. “That was one of the best factor I heard all day. That was superior.”
He spent 13 video games over components of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons enjoying for Pittsburgh within the NHL earlier than spending the 2020-21 season in Sweden with the Malmo Redhawks. He had a aim and three assists for the Penguins.
Johnson helped Minnesota-Duluth attain two NCAA Tournaments. He scored an additional time game-winner within the 2017 match, sending the Bulldogs to the Frozen 4 by beating Boston College.
He additionally performed for 3 American Hockey League golf equipment throughout his profession and in Germany with the Augsburger Panther in 2022-23 earlier than agreeing to affix Nottingham for this season.
‘We’re hurting unhealthy’
Johnson’s dying has led to additional discussions about cut-resistant safety within the NHL and different leagues.
“He was an ideal participant,” Pionk mentioned. “I am going to keep in mind him flying round in highschool together with his jersey flapping behind his again. We see sufficient hockey gamers come by way of right here that should you’re not an ideal man, that half has to remain for the remainder of your life. The hockey half goes to go away. Now we have to maintain them humble. Hibbing did an ideal job with him. He was an ideal younger man.”
Perunovich mentioned Johnson’s household is dealing with issues one of the best they will.
“All people is feeling the identical,” Perunovich mentioned. “I do not assume the phrases are as vital because the feelings. We had folks are available from all around the world right here with their hugs and tears.
“We’re hurting unhealthy up right here proper now. It will take awhile. No person can perceive it, however possibly God wanted him greater than we did.”