Cook County resident famous for hockey career found dead in treatment center
A member of the “Miracle on Ice” Olympic hockey team and longtime Cook County resident has died at a treatment center for mental illness.
Officials in Anoka County confirmed Friday that 63-year-old Mark Pavelich died at the Eagle’s Healing Nest in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, on Thursday morning. The cause and manner of death are still pending.
“We are saddened to hear about the passing of 1980 Olympic gold medalist Mark Pavelich,” USA Hockey said in a statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to Mark’s family & friends. (He is) forever a part of hockey history.”
Pavelich was undergoing treatment at the home as part of a civil commitment for assaulting his neighbor at his cabin on Deer Yard Lake near Lutsen in August 2019. Pavelich thought the man had spiked his beer.
He was charged with felony assault but Judge Michael Cuzzo found he was incompetent to stand trial because he was mentally ill and dangerous. According to the judge’s order from December 2019, a psychologist found Pavelich was suffering from delusions and paranoia. Another psychologist found he suffered from a mild neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, likely related to repeated head injuries.