Following the tragic death of former Penguins player Adam Johnson over the weekend, the organization has mandated that minor league players at the AHL and ECHL levels wear neck and wrist guards moving forward.
Johnson died after having his throat cut by a skate from an opposing player over the weekend.
On Tuesday, Pens head coach Mike Sullivan said that players in Wilkes-Barre and Wheeling will be mandated to wear the neck guards and wrist guards moving forward.
“Hopefully that’ll be one of the positive things that will come out of this terrible tragedy,” Sullivan said, as reported by Penguins play-by-play commentator Josh Getzoff.
#Pens HCMS: WBS and Wheeling will have mandated neck guard use. Hopefully that’ll be one of those positive things that will come out of this terrible tragedy.— Josh Getzoff (@JG_PxP) October 31, 2023
“We can’t do that at the NHL level, but we can certainly strongly encourage and that’s our hope,” Sullivan also said.
Johnson, 29, was signed by Pittsburgh in the summer of 2017 as an undrafted free agent after a successful two-year career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The forward played in the Pens’ organization for three seasons, with the majority of time spent in Wilkes-Barre from 2017-18 through 2019-20. Johnson also earned his way up to the NHL in Pittsburgh for 13 total games across two seasons.