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‘This Was Murder’ – Former Players Suggest the Hit by Matt Petgrave Was Deliberate

On October 28th, ice hockey player Adam Johnson was fatally injured in what his team has labeled a “freak accident” but what many others are calling a deliberate attack.

Sheffield Steelers player Matt Petgrave, 31, fatally cut Johnson’s throat with his skate blade when they collided during an ice hockey match in front of 8,000 horrified fans in Sheffield. 

During a recent interview, ex-Canadian hockey star Sean Avery implied that Petgrave’s fatal kick to Johnson was deliberate, though he stopped short of labeling it as homicide, even when prodded by Fox host Jesse Watters.

When Watters labeled Petgrave as a ‘dirty’ player and likened the incident to ‘murder,’ Avery responded, “That’s a rather heavy term to use. I’ve seen the footage; it’s horrific and certainly not easy on the eyes.”

Former player turned radio presenter, Jermaine Wiggins, sparked outrage by suggesting that Johnson was intentionally kicked by the opponent in the accident that killed him.

Discussing the tragic accident on The Greg Hill show, Wiggins said: ‘I guess the other player, I’m forgetting his name, I’m drawing a blank right now but they’ve said he had some situations in the past.

‘When you look at it – look at it again – he kind of kicks him. It looks like it wasn’t an accident.’

Some have suggested that the media, the public, and the league would react completely differently if the roles in the occurrence were reversed.

South Yorkshire Police are currently conducting an ongoing investigation into the distressing incident.

Chris Therien, a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman, also wrote on X ‘After seeing the incident involving Adam Johnson, that Bush league needs to shut down for investigation immediately. 

‘I was literally appalled and sickened by what I saw. It looked intentional. It was a Kung fu kick. My eyes are not lying tell me I’m wrong.’

Throughout his career, Petgrave has participated in a variety of eight leagues, earning a reputation as a ‘dirty player’ from both commentators and the online community.

Presently, he holds the record for the most penalty minutes in the 2022-23 season of the Elite Ice Hockey League, as reported by EuroHockey, with a cumulative total of 129 penalty infraction minutes.

Furthermore, data from VredsHockey indicates that from 2013 to 2017, Petgrave accumulated 328 penalty minutes over his career.

Others have taken to their respective online profiles to give their opinions, calling out the hypocrisy and what they describe to be an ‘obvious murder.’

The footage of the tragic event captured Johnson attempting to rise, with blood profusely spilling onto the ice. A referee and a teammate rushed to his aid as he made his way off the rink, only for him to collapse back onto the ice.

His girlfriend has since expressed her deep sorrow, referring to him as her “sweet, sweet angel” and sharing her eternal love and the pain of her loss.

At 29 years old, Johnson managed to briefly stand, despite the severe bleeding, before tragically collapsing once more during the Sheffield game. He was promptly attended to by medical professionals, receiving CPR right there on the ice, and was quickly transported to a hospital. Unfortunately, his life could not be saved.

His girlfriend, Ryan Wolfe, took to Instagram to share her heartfelt tribute, posting a picture of him along with the words: “My sweet, sweet angel. I’ll miss you forever and love you always.”

In the wake of this incident, supporters have come together to offer their condolences and support to Matt Petgrave, who is devastated after his accidental and fatal collision with Johnson using his skate blade.

Following the incident, fellow players swiftly formed a protective barrier to shield the ongoing emergency response from the view of the public.


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