The girlfriend of former NHL player Adam Johnson discovered an engagement ring the Nottingham Panthers player had purchased and planned to propose with. Ryan Wolfe had been dating Johnson for three years before his horrific death via a skate blade during an Elite Ice Hockey League game last month.
Johnson, 29, died after suffering an injury to his neck following a collision with Sheffield Steelers player Matt Petgrave during a game late last month. A man has this week been released on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over the death.
His girlfriend, Ryan Wolfe, was at Utilita Arena Sheffield when the incident happened and was praying beside Johnson on the ice afterwards. She was also the person to identify the body at Sheffield General Infirmary, where Johnson was pronounced dead.
Friends and family of the deceased have since been sharing additional details about the situation. A close friend has disclosed the discovery that Wolfe later made at their apartment.
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They told USA Today that Johnson purchased the ring before flying to England before the 2023/24 seasonstarted. “His grandmother told me that he had shown her (Johnson’s grandmother) the ring before he left, and he was going to propose at some point,” Scott Pionk said.
Pionk has a son who played with Johnson while in college. He added that: “I’m sure she had an inkling,” alluding to whether Wolfe knew about his proposal plans.
Johnson’s aunt Kari has previously spoken about the prospect of her nephew proposing to his girlfriend. “We (the family) were all really excited because we were really looking forward to their future, and he didn’t get a chance to ask her, and then this happened.”
The family are now no longer doing interviews after the arrest. Before that, Wolfe paid tribute to Johnson at a memorial in his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota.
Footage from the event seems to show her wearing the engagement ring as she speaks. At the memorial, Wolfe read out a letter to Johnson that she had written.
“Hi, babe. I want you to know how much I love you and adore you. She added: “You had the best sense of humour, the biggest heart, the quickest wit and the kindest soul.”
The letter continued: “The last year or so, you came up with so many different plans for us. From starting a farm or coffee shop or me becoming some big hot shot so you could stay home and be a stay-at-home Dad with a whole vanful of kids you wanted,” it read.
Wolfe added: “To me, you were everything. You were my home, my best friend, my sounding board, my rock, my safe haven and the love of my life. I’m never going to stop thinking about you, missing you and loving you until we can be together again. I love you.”
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