Petr Cech's ice hockey team bring in strict rule after player dies in 'freak' incident after neck slashed
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The ice hockey team Petr Cech plays for have introduced a strict rule following the tragic death of Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson.
On Saturday, Johnson was playing for his side against Sheffield Steelers in front of 8,000 supporters at the Utilita Arena when he was slashed in the neck by an ice hockey blade following a coming together with an opponent.
The tragic accident was declared a "major medical emergency" and after being taken to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital, the 29-year-old sadly passed away.
The tragedy has opened up discussions as to whether extra measures should be taken to avoid a freak injury of this kind.
National Ice Hockey League South Division 1 Oxford City Stars, who Chelsea legend Cech plays for, have set the precedent by making neck guards mandatory for all players and encouraging other teams to do so.
They are currently no rules in place stating that the protection must be worn by players in a number of major leagues.
A statement on Monday said: "These guards will be a non-negotiable component of their attire during all practices and games, providing an extra layer of protection."
"In a poignant tribute to Adam Johnson's memory, this commitment signifies not only a significant moment for the Oxford City Stars but also a cornerstone in advocating for enhanced safety standards across the sport.
"We encourage other clubs to also offer these neck guards to their players. At our level of play, we strongly believe that these guards should be worn by all players."
Johnson made 13 appearances for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL before playing for the Malmo Redhawks in Sweden, as well as Ontario Reign and Augsburger Panther in Canada and Germany respectively.
He had only joined Panthers in August and the club issued a heartfelt statement following his devastating passing, sending condolences to all those in connection to Adam.
A statement read: "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 are heartbroken at the news of Adam's passing. Our thoughts are also with the fans and staff of both clubs, especially those who attended or were following the game, who will be devastated following today's news.
"The Panthers would like to thank everyone who rushed to support Adam last night in the most testing of circumstances.
"Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him. The club will dearly miss him and will never ever forget him.
"We ask that the privacy of Adam's family and friends, and everyone at the club is respected at this difficult time as we all seek to come to terms with our grief.
"Rest in peace Adam."