Adam Johnson: Fife Flyers open book of condolence ahead of return to playing
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The 29-year old Nottingham Panthers player died after a freak on-ice accident in the game against Sheffield Steelers at the weekend. Johnson died in hospital after being struck in the neck by a skate blade in a distressing incident mid-game
The hockey community has been mourning his shocking, unexpected death, with flowers and tributes placed at many rinks, including Fife Ice Arena where Panthers were due to visit this month. Flyers will open a book of condolence from this morning, and it will be available for fans to sign every day. It comes as the Elite League announced a return to action for eight of its ten teams this weekend, with fitting tributes for Johnson being prepared at every rink.
Nottingham and Sheffield will not play, but the remaining EIHL teams will lace up, with Fife Flyers hosting Glasgow Clan on Saturday night and then travelling to Guildford Flames on Sunday. Games scheduled for this midweek have been postponed.
The decision to resume was taken after the eight clubs consulted with their players on what should happen after the heartbreaking tragedy.
In an update, the Elite League said: “These teams expressed their wish to return to playing this weekend. Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers will not return to the ice, and we would continue to ask everyone to support these clubs through what is an intensely difficult time.
“All games taking place will be organised with appropriate and fitting tributes to Adam Johnson. This needs to be an on-going process to ensure that all tributes have been agreed with those affected most deeply by what has happened. The Elite League will give further details of the planned tributes ahead of the weekend, and we hope that fans from around the league will feel able to come together to pay tribute to Adam as part of what is a very sad and difficult process for everyone.”
The schedule for this weekend wis: Saturday - Belfast Giants vs. Guildford Flames; Coventry Blaze vs. Dundee Stars; Cardiff Devils vs. Manchester Storm; Fife Flyers vs. Glasgow Clan. Sunday - Dundee Stars vs. Coventry Blaze; Manchester Strom vs. Belfast Giants; Glasgow Clan vs. Cardiff Devils; Guildford Flames vs. Fife Flyers.