The Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats have welcomed new safety rules in English Ice Hockey after a player was killed in 'freak accident' during a match.

Forward Adam Johnson was fatally injured during a match between the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers in a Challenge Cup match on Saturday, October 28, after he was struck in the neck with a skate blade. 

His death has sent shockwaves through the National Hockey League (NHL) and its governing body, the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) has moved quickly to announce new safety regulations to prevent something like this from happening again. 

The new regulations have been shared on social media by the Swindon Wildcats, who previously paid their own tribute to the player killed in the tragic incident. 

Read More: Swindon Wildcats tribute after death of ice hockey player Adam Johnson

Steve Nell, the Wildcats' managing director, told the Adver that he fully supported these changes. 

"We're fully behind it, it's the right thing to do for the safety of the players going forward," he said. "They have our full support

A spokesperson for the EIHA said: "Undoubtedly, this moment in time casts a sombre shadow upon our global sporting community, serving as a stark reminder of our collective responsibilities as custodians of the sport.

"As in all sports, the safety of our players must take precedence above all else. We are firmly committed to our obligation to exhaust every possible means to ensure that a tragic incident of this nature never befalls our sport again."

Effective immediately, players competing in the league have been 'strongly recommended' to wear a neck guard until December 31, after which it will become a mandatory requirement. 

Within the next 12 months, the EIHA will conduct a player safety equipment review considering all aspects of player safety.

In the long term, it will provide clear guidance on the ongoing and continuous improvement of player safety, with a requirement for all clubs to demonstrate that they manage this within their organisation.

The EIHA spokesperson said: "It is unacceptable for any player to lose their life while playing sport. Our responsibility is not only to avert the recurrence of such a heartbreaking accident but also to pre-emptively address other foreseeable incidents in the future.

"We bear both a legal and a moral obligation to respond in a measured and pragmatic way. There is a distinct likelihood that comprehensive evaluations will transpire at the international level, and the EIHA is committed to taking an active and constructive role in this comprehensive process."

Emotional scenes have followed the incident, with footage of Nottingham Panthers' assistant coach Kevin Moore addressing fans next to a growing memorial of floral tributes. 

He said: "As time goes on we're going to heal, and we're going to do it together. Our group is strong and they're connected and we're going to do you guys proud, okay."

Meanwhile, the player’s fiancee Ryan Wolfe paid tribute on Instagram, saying: “My sweet angel, I’ll miss you forever and love you always.”

South Yorkshire Police has opened an investigation into the incident, but has encouraged people not to 'speculate'. 

A spokesperson said: “Officers attended the scene alongside other emergency services and one man, aged in his 20s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

“Sadly, he was later pronounced deceased at hospital.

“Our officers remain at the scene carrying out inquiries and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remain ongoing.

“We would encourage the public to avoid speculation regarding the incident while we continue our inquiries.”

Sheffield City Council’s health and safety team was assisting the police.