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Fri Mar 5, 2021, 07:42 PM

Mark Pavelich, member of 'Miracle on Ice' Olympic hockey team, found dead

Source: ESPN

Mark Pavelich, a member of the "Miracle on Ice" 1980 Olympic hockey team, was found dead at a treatment facility in Minnesota, USA Hockey confirmed on Friday.

The cause of death was not immediately known. Pavelich was 63.

"We are saddened to hear about the passing of 1980 Olympic gold medalist Mark Pavelich," USA Hockey tweeted. "We extend our deepest condolences to Mark's family & friends. Forever a part of hockey history."

The Minnesota Star Tribune first reported details about Pavelich's death. According to the newspaper, police were called to Pavelich's residence at about 8:30 a.m. local time on Thursday where he was found dead. He was last seen on Wednesday at about 8 p.m. at the facility where he was receiving mental health treatment.

Read more: https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/31012022/mark-pavelich-member-miracle-ice-olympic-hockey-team-found-dead

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Reply Mark Pavelich, member of 'Miracle on Ice' Olympic hockey team, found dead (Original post)
BradAllison Mar 5 OP
catbyte Mar 5 #1
underpants Mar 5 #2
George II Mar 6 #8
DinahMoeHum Mar 5 #3
dhol82 Mar 5 #4
ananda Mar 6 #10
modrepub Mar 6 #11
ananda Mar 6 #12
turbinetree Mar 5 #5
Skittles Mar 5 #6
littlemissmartypants Mar 6 #7
BeyondGeography Mar 6 #9
Blues Heron Mar 7 #13

Response to BradAllison (Original post)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 07:45 PM

1. R.I.P. I still remember that game. The gold medal round was so anticlimactic after that win.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 08:39 PM

2. I remember Jim MCKay mentioning that this had already happened

It was tape delayed for prime time. As it built my brother and I were on the fort of mom’s bed. “Is this really going to happen?!?!” we kept asking. We knew about as much about hockey as we did about cricket.

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 12:45 AM

8. Yes, the game was earlier in the day, and scheduled to be shown that night (Friday, I believe)....

Jim McKay was saying that he couldn't say anything about the result, but you knew that the Americans won from his demeanor.

But they didn't win the Gold Medal until they won their last game on Sunday morning.

Mark Pavelich was a scrappy, hard nosed player, and a very good player in his limited NHL career.

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Response to BradAllison (Original post)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 08:56 PM

3. His family believes it was CTE. . .

. . .but that won't be known until after the autopsy - and if the family gives their consent.

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Response to DinahMoeHum (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 09:54 PM

4. Hope they do give consent.

It would help future kids.

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Response to DinahMoeHum (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 10:39 AM

10. Is that chronic with hockey players?

I suspect it is.

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Response to ananda (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 11:40 AM

11. For the Retired Players

Probably more so for the grinders and fighters that were more prevalent in the decades before 2000. The game has changed a lot since then with speed and finesse emphasized over big hits and fights. Not that they don't occur in the modern game, they are just not as common. Back in the day each team had an enforcer who protected the star players and usually the fourth line was the hitting and grinding line. I'd say the concussions were more common and players would regularly play through those types of injuries.

The NHL decided awhile ago to try and cut back on the fighting and rough stuff. There's also been a natural progression in the game where speedy players became more valuable than hitters and riders; the latter couldn't keep up. Teams that tried to play that style weren't able to be as successful as teams that valued speed and finesse. Not to say that fighting and heavy hits aren't more prevalent at the lower professional ranks (AHL and ECHL) but I don't see as much rough stuff as there used to be at the NHL level. Modern fights look more like wrestling matches than the fist fights/brawling that I remember back in the 70s and 80s.

Hockey's a rough game. Players are bigger and faster than they were 30 years ago. Collisions do happen and there are vicious hits that sporadically occur during a game. Overall the NHL seems committed to protecting their players (and most players police their own ranks given the amount of money that's on the table).

What would be interesting is to see how much difference there is between the brains of male and female hockey players. Women make up a sizable portion of hockey players at the youth and college level. I've never watched much women's hockey but I'd suspect there's less hitting and the players tend to be much smaller than the male side; most women collegiate rosters list women under 5'5".

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Response to modrepub (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 11:58 AM

12. It's common with boxers and football players too.

I wonder if they thought our audiences were getting
hungry for more violence. But seeing what it does
to the players should indeed make us think better
about what sport means.

It kind of reminds me of ancient Rome in a way.

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Response to BradAllison (Original post)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 10:57 PM

5. This is so sad, since I grew up in the area where he played hockey

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Response to BradAllison (Original post)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 11:30 PM

6. sorry to hear about this

he had a troubled life

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Response to BradAllison (Original post)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 01:03 AM

9. Pav was a first-rate NY Ranger

I was out of the country for the ‘80 Olympics and never saw the Miracle Team. But what I saw of him in the NHL was a 5-8 (listed, he was actually closer to 5-7) overachiever who never backed down and inspired loyalty in his mates and with the fans. I knew he was struggling but this is still very sad. A lot of hockey fans will always remember him in NYC. He was loved.

RIP.

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Response to BradAllison (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 12:39 PM

13. I hate violent sports

Such a sickness in our society. This guy paid the ultimate price for our frivolous entertainment.

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