Mark Pavelich, a former NHL player and forward for the Olympic team & # 39; Miracle on Ice & # 39; from 1980, is accused of a crime for allegedly beating his neighbor with a metal pole, breaking several bones
The sister of Mark Pavelich, the former NHL player and member of the American & # 39; Miracle on Ice & # 39; The 1980 Olympic team, recently arrested for attack charges, believes her brother may be suffering the consequences of repeated head injuries he sustained during his hockey career.
61-year-old Pavelich attacked his neighbor at his home in the small Lake Superior community in Lutsen, Minnesota last week, after returning from fishing, authorities claim in the criminal complaint. Pavelich told the investigators that he believed the man had his & # 39; enriched & # 39 ;, which led to the alleged attack.
He was booked in Cook County, Minnesota on August 15 and is confronted with second and third-degree assault charges, possession of an illegal shotgun and possession of a firearm that lacks a serial number.
Pavelich is being held in lieu of $ 250,000 bail and was ordered by a district judge to undergo an evaluation and subsequent hearing to determine his mental competence to stand trial.
Such as Pavelich & # 39; s sister, Jean Gevik, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the family believes he may be suffering from signs of degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can only be diagnosed posthumously.
Herb Brooks (seated), the former Pavelich coach with Team USA and the New York Rangers, once told Pavelich's sister that he had & # 39; one very serious head injury, adding that he & # 39; was surprised that Mark had experienced it & # 39 ;. At only 5 feet-8, Pavelich (right) was not known as a physical player
Jack O & # 39; Callahan, left, and Mark Pavelich of the American ice hockey team from 1980 talk at a reunion & # 39; Relive the Miracle & # 39; at Herb Brooks Arena in 2015
& # 39; Mark is the most kind and gentle person you will ever know, & # 39; said Gevik, pointing to & # 39; all concussions and the blows he had in the NHL & # 39; to explain his recent problems.
& # 39; This is a totally different guy. & # 39;
Pavelich is specifically accused of attacking his neighbor James T. Miller, with a metal pole of three to four feet, causing the 63-year-old to be hospitalized in & # 39; a huge amount of pain & # 39; after suffering from two cracked ribs, a bruised kidney, and a broken vertebrae.
According to Gevik, her brother has a history of head injury, even though he is not known to fight as a 5-foot 8 forward.
& # 39; He never hurt anyone, not even in the NHL, & # 39; she said and added: & # 39; Even if he were to be battered, he would never take revenge. & # 39;
Mark Pavelich depicted during an exhibition against the Soviets in Madison Square Garden in 1980. The US lost 10-3, but surprised the USSR in the Olympic semi-final with a 4-3 upset. The Americans defeated Finland to win the Olympic gold medal
Pavelich in particular struggled with & # 39; anger problems and damage to property & # 39 ;, Gevik explained.
Gevik said she was told by Herb Brooks, the former Pavelich coach at Team USA and the New York Rangers, that her brother & # 39; had a very serious head injury that he was surprised that Mark lived through & # 39 ;.
After speaking with a CTE expert who has worked with several former NFL players, Gevik said she believes her brother is suffering from brain disease.
& # 39; All research is about CTE, & # 39; she said. & # 39; This should not be a surprise here. & # 39;
The NHL settled a concussion case with more than 100 former players experiencing the long-term effects of head injury, although the competition did not admit debt and the payout was reportedly far less than the $ 1 billion settlement that the NFL made with its former players.
According to the Associated Press, the NHL paid only $ 19 million. Each player can receive $ 22,000 with the potential for another $ 75,000 for medical treatment.
Pavelich was not part of that trial and, according to Gevik, has not made a claim.
Pavelich played five seasons with the Rangers and parts of one season each with the Minnesota North Stars and San Jose Sharks, threw 137 goals and served 192 assists in his 355 NHL games. He also played professionally in Europe.
He had two assists in the & # 39; Miracle & # 39; 4-3 US victory over the Soviet Union in the semi-final of the 1980 Olympic tournament. The US beat Finland in the final to win the gold medal.
In 2012, Kavel, the 44-year-old wife of Pavelich, accidentally died from a second-floor balcony at their home. Two years later, Pavelich sold his gold medal for $ 262,900 through an auction house and said he wanted to help his adult daughter.
Team USA celebrates their 4-3 win over the Soviet Union in the men's ice hockey semifinal at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York on February 22, 1980. The game became the & # 39; Miracle on Ice & # 39; called.
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