Minnesota Wild pay special tribute to native son Adam Johnson
Minnesota Wild  

Minnesota Wild pay special tribute to native son Adam Johnson

A classy tribute from The State of Hockey.



The entire hockey world continues to mourn the tragic passing of former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Adam Johnson. The 29 year old Grand Rapids, MN native had his throat sliced open in a freak accident while playing for the Nottingham Panthers of the British EIHL this past weekend.

Tonight, in his native state he was honored by the Minnesota Wild ahead of the team's game against the New Jersey Devils.

Check it out:

Classy as it gets. 

Johnson played 13 total games for the Penguins between 2018 and 2020, spending the majority of his time in the organization with the team's AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. During his time with the big club though, Johnson impressed upon Penguins captain and NHL superstar Sidney Crosby.

Earlier this week Crosby shared his thoughts on Johnson's passing and shared his own personal history on his former teammate:

"It's something that we've all been thinking about. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. Just a great guy, a great teammate, had an awesome attitude while he was here. Just genuinely happy to be playing in the NHL."

Crosby on what memories come to mind from playing with Adam Johnson: "A few. I think his first goal, definitely. To see him score in his home state was pretty cool. And just the way he skated. There's some guys that, when you get out there with them, they can just flat out fly. He was one of them. He could motor out there. I remember skating with him for the first time, and that was the first thing that stood out."

- Sidney Crosby

Classy, as always.

Just prior to their game earlier this week, the Penguins held a very touching ceremony to celebrate the life of Johnson.

Check it out:

Everything I've heard and read about Johnson in the past 24 hours is that he was a very humble and genuine guy. A hardworking player who was loved by all his teammates. I'm absolutely gutted that he was taken from us at such a young age. Here's hoping that his lasting legacy will be a complete review of the protective equipment used at both the youth/minor and the professional levels.

In fact, it sounds like Montreal Canadiens head coach and Hockey Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis agrees. When speaking to the media earlier today, St. Louis expressed his sorrow for Johnson and his family and shared his own personal opinion on whether or not the NHL should adopt a mandatory neck guard policy.

Check it out:

"When I was younger, I took a puck to the eye. To this day, my left eye still isn't the same as my right eye. I watch the game today & I wonder how I ever played without a visor.” - Coach Marty St-Louis on changing protective gear in the NHL in the wake of the Adam Johnson tragedy

- Martin St. Louis

I'm inclined to side with the Hall of Famer who played his entire career without a visor.

Washington Capitals tough guy Tom Wilson is also making the switch and has committed to at least trying out a neck guard moving forward.

From Capitals insider Tarik El-Bashir:

Tom Wilson is the first Washington Capitals star to opt for a neck guard, as he was trying one out at Thursday's optional morning skate following the on-ice death of former NHLer and Elite Hockey League forward Adam Johnson.

Johnson died on Saturday after his neck was cut by a skate blade during a game between the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers.

Wilson was wearing a TILO neck and wrist base layer top from T.J. Oshie's brand, Warroad. Monumental Sports Network's Tarik El-Bashir posted a video of Wilson wearing the guard.

Tarik El-Bashir

I suspect Wilson won't be the last player to trial a neck guard in the coming days.

Source: Minnesota Wild