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Mark Pavelich, Former NHLer, Miracle on Ice player deemed mentally ill and dangerous

5 décembre 2019
A Minnesota judge has deemed Mark Pavelich, a former NHLer and a member of the Miracle on Ice U.S. Olympic hockey team, mentally ill and a danger to himself and others. The judge ruled that Pavelich should be committed to a secure treatment facility, and a hearing will take place Friday to determine whether he can be kept there indefinitely.


Pavelich, now 61, was charged with felony assault in August for allegedly beating a friend with a metal pole, breaking several bones. According to a police report, Pavelich had accused his friend of spiking his beer. A hearing in late October determined Pavelich was not fit to stand trial and his criminal case was essentially dropped while the state sought to have him committed. USA Today sums up the findings of a psychologist and what Pavelich's family believes led to his mental illness.
"One psychologist found Pavelich had delusions and paranoia, including a delusion that those closest to him were trying to poison him. Another psychologist found he suffered from a mild neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, likely related to repeated head injuries.

Pavelich’s family members have said they believe he suffers from CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, after repeated concussions from his time in the NHL. They said they started seeing changes in him a few years ago and he has refused help."
Pavelich’s sister, Jean Gevik, has described her brother's situation as “heartbreaking.”

Pavelich had two assists in the United States' "Miracle on Ice" win over the Soviet Union during a medal-round game at the 1980 Winter Olympics. The Soviets were four-time defending gold medalists that year and the U.S. was given little chance of beating the team. USA would go on to beat Finland in the gold medal game after downing the Soviet Union 4-3.

Following the victory, Pavelich would go on to spend five seasons with the New York Rangers, as well as 12 games with the Minnesota North Stars. After spending three seasons in Europe, he attempted an NHL comeback with the San Jose Sharks in 1991-92, but it would only last two games. He ended his NHL career with solid numbers, putting up 329 points (137 goals, 192 assists) in 355 games.

Source: USA Today
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