Mark Pavelich, a member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” American Olympic hockey team, was found dead in a treatment center in central Minnesota.
The 63-year-old man died at Eagle’s Healing Nest, where he was receiving mental health treatment, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune. Pavelich was under civil commitment for assaulting his neighbor with a four-foot metal pipe in August 2019.
Emergency police were called to Pavelich’s residence around 8:30 a.m. Thursday after a reported death. No one had seen the former NHL member since 8 p.m. the day before.
The cause of death was not immediately known.
Pavelich starred for Team USA at Lake Placid, receiving an assist on Mike Eruzione’s goal that stood as the winner in an upset over the acclaimed Russian team. The Americans beat Finland for the gold medal.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of 1980 Olympic gold medalist Mark Pavelich,” USA Hockey tweeted. “We extend our condolences to Mark’s family and friends. “Forever a part of hockey history.”
The 5-foot-7-inch Minnesota native went on to a seven-year NHL career that began in 1981, including stops with the Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and the San Jose Sharks.
“The New York Rangers are saddened to learn of the passing of Mark Pavelich,” the Rangers said in a statement. “His determination, passion and dazzling ability to create plays earned him the adoration of Rangers fans during his five years in New York. Mark helped inspire a nation through the integral role he played on the ‘Miracle on Ice’ team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Our thoughts are with Mark’s loved ones during this difficult time. “