Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson died on October 28 after sustaining a serious injury during a match watched by thousands.
South Yorkshire Police confirmed on Tuesday evening a man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the incident.
Johnson, a 29-year-old American, from Minnesota, was playing for the Panthers against Sheffield Steelers when he was he is understood to have been hit in the throat by an opponent’s skate, causing a fatal injury.
About 8,000 fans watched in horror as attempts were made to save Johnson’s life as he lay on the ice at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena, shielded by fellow players.
He later died in hospital.
Detective chief superintendent Becs Horsfall, of South Yorkshire Police, said on Tuesday: “Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive inquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances.
“We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our inquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.
“Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world.
“We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process.
“Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as inquiries continue.”
An inquest into Mr Johnson’s death was opened and adjourned on November 3, but Sheffield’s senior coroner, Tanyka Rawden, has already called on the sport’s governing bodies to take action.
In a Prevention of Future Deaths Report to Ice Hockey UK and the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), Ms Rawden said she was “sufficiently concerned that deaths may occur in the future if neck guards or protectors are not worn”, with the bodies having 56 days to reply about what action has been taken, or why action has not been taken.
The EIHA said neck guards will become mandatory from 2024, but the Elite League is not under the its control.
The Elite Ice Hockey League, in which the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers compete, has said it will not make the use of neck guards mandatory but will “strongly encourage” players and officials to wear them following the tragedy.