Who is Matt Petgrave, the hockey player involved in Adam Johnson’s death?

Who is Matt Petgrave, the hockey player involved in Adam Johnson’s death?

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By Cole Premo

/ CBS Minnesota

Arrest made in UK in death of Minnesota hockey player Adam Johnson

Arrest made in UK in death of Minnesota hockey player Adam Johnson


MINNEAPOLIS — Officials in the U.K. announced Tuesday that an arrest has been made in the death of Adam Johnson, a 29-year-old hockey player from Hibbing, Minnesota.

While officials haven’t confirmed the identity of the suspect, hockey player Matt Petgrave was the skater whose blade cut Adam Johnson’s neck during a game last month.

So, who is Petgrave?

According to the NHL, Petgrave, 31, has been a member of the Sheffield Steelers for two seasons. The Steelers are a professional hockey team located in Sheffield, England.

According to the Steelers, Petgrave was applauded during the team’s game Sunday night against the Coventry Blaze. It was the first home game for the Steelers since Johnson’s death.

Videos on social media showed the standing ovation. Petgrave did not play.

22nd minute… Standing ovation for Sheffield Steelers defenceman Matt Petgrave, who’s not on the ice tonight.

Over 8,000 fans all on their feet to show their support & love for Petgrave. pic.twitter.com/aNYIzh8Q2Z

— Peter Spencer (@_PeterSpencer) November 12, 2023

After the fatal incident, Johnson’s teammate Westin Michaud took to social media to defend Petgrave.

“We wholeheartedly stand with Matt Petgrave. The hate that Matt is receiving is terrible and completely uncalled for. I was at ice level on the bench closest to the accident, I saw both players moving fast,” Michaud wrote on X. “It’s clear to me his actions were unintentional and anyone suggesting otherwise is mistaken.”

BOSTON, MA – JULY 26: Team Carbonneau defenseman Matt Petgrave (22) skates with the puck during a 3ICE week 5 game between Team Patrick and Team Carbonneau on July 26, 2023, at Agganis Arena in Boston, MA.

Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Petgrave was undrafted and joined the Ontario Hockey League in 2009. He’s seen time in leagues that include USports, the East Coast Hockey League in New Jersey, the American Hockey League and more.

Petgrave is from Toronto, in the Canadian province of Ontario.  

Cole Premo


Cole Premo is a web producer at WCCO.com. For more than a decade, he’s been covering breaking news and weather, daily topics, stories from the Native community and more in Minnesota.


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