A video has surfaced from over a dozen years ago appearing to show Matt Petgrave performing a similar illegal move to the one that resulted in Adam Johnson’s death last Saturday.
Johnson was killed during an Elite Ice Hockey League game in England when his throat was slit by Petgrave’s skate following a collision. His passing on October 28 is still under investigation from the South Yorkshire Police.
Now, X user @WallStreetSilv is accusing Petgrave of intentionally extending his leg during the collision in an effort to ‘take out’ Johnson – and to prove that point, the popular social media account shared old footage of an allegedly similar incident. The clip appears to show Petgrave throwing his left elbow and right trailing leg at an opposing player, sending him spiraling in the air and smacking to the ice neck and upper back first.
The incident appears to take place during Petgrave’s first season in the Ontario Hockey League, when he played for the Niagara IceDogs. Both players involved appear to walk away from the collision without an injury.
The video would be from 2009 or 2010, which explains the grainy quality, but the player in black wearing jersey No. 26, is allegedly Petgrave.
An old footage of what is allegedly Petgrave raising his leg in a collision surfaced on X (twitter)
Petgrave is listed on the Canadian Hockey League’s official website as wearing No. 26 for the Niagara IceDogs during the 2009-10 season.
The clip can be traced to the OHL based on the graphic shown during the replay.
The two teams playing in the game can also be identified as the IceDogs and the now-defunct Plymouth Whalers based on the score during the live shot.
The player taking the illegal hit, No. 27 for the Whalers, is allegedly Robbie Czarnik. Both Petgrave and Czarnik’s names can be heard on the broadcast.
Both Czarnik and Petgrave have never played in the NHL.
Petgrave’s incident with Johnson appeared significantly worse than the video above of an allegedly 17-year-old Petgrave.
‘Did this kid make a very unorthodox move? Do I think he was trying to make contact of some sort? Absolutely,’ former NHL player Sean Avery said earlier this week. ‘Do I think he woke up and said ‘I’m going to murder somebody today?’ No.’
Local police in England released a statement Tuesday stating ‘due to the complex nature of this tragic and unprecedented incident, it is likely the wider investigation will take some time.’
Adam Johnson’s neck was cut open in a collision with Matt Petgrave on October 31
Fans of the Nottingham Panthers started a memorial for Johnson following his tragic death
The OHL hit above would likely have been called for a kneeing penalty in the NHL. No discipline can be seen given out in the aforementioned video.
In the NHL, a kneeing infraction can range from a 2-minute penalty to an ejection with a possible suspension. Based on the severity of the contact in the video allegedly involving Petgrave, he’d likely be serving a multiple-game suspension.
After Johnson’s passing, the English Ice Hockey Association, which oversees English and Welsh hockey below the level where Petgrave and Johnson played, announced a neck guard mandate beginning in 2024.
Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie wore a neck guard during Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders.