The sports community continues to mourn the untimely passing of former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Adam Johnson. His tragic demise occurred following a devastating incident on the ice during a game in the Elite Ice Hockey League. Johnson sustained fatal injuries when accidentally struck by a falling opponent, causing severe damage to his neck that tragically proved too severe.
After starting his professional career in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, Johnson transitioned to play in the Elite Ice Hockey League. During his tenure with the Penguins from 2018-19 through 2019-20, he contributed to 13 games, recording one goal and three assists
Johnson also played in the Swedish Hockey League with the Malmö Redhawks during the 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic having delayed the NHL season in North America. It was with the Redhawks that he became friends with Detroit Red Wings forward Joe Veleno, who was also playing overseas due to the situation in the NHL.
And needless to say, Veleno was shook by Johnson's ultimately death.
“It is a huge tragedy and a shock what happened,” Veleno somberly explained to the Swedish website Aftonbladet.se. “It is completely insane to think that it has actually happened, it is impossible to take in or understand. “At first I walked around thinking it couldn’t be right. It was so sad.”
Veleno also spoke of his regret that he didn't have more contact with Johnson after their time in the SHL was through, due to the sad reality of life being fragile and that the chance may never come again.
“I regret that we didn’t take the opportunity to have more contact (with Johnson) after the time in Malmö, because this shows that you never know when it’s too late,” Veleno said.