Days after Mark Pavelich, 63, was found dead in a residential treatment center, his sister wrote an emotional Facebook post that the “Miracle on Ice” hockey star’s brain was being analyzed for CTE — or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
“Going with statistics, I have no doubt it will be riddled with disease,” Jean Gevik wrote of her brother. “Mark loved the NHL and the Olympics and didn’t blame them for his problems. He was unbelievably grateful for the opportunity to play in the big league … especially in lieu of his size.”
In a few days, the family and fans of Pavelich should have an answer, as an autopsy is the only way in which the degenerative brain disease can be confirmed.
Pavelich was under civil commitment at the time of his death for assaulting his neighbor. A judge originally deemed him “mentally ill and dangerous” and committed him to a state facility. But Pavelich was granted court approval to be transferred to the less restrictive facility this past summer.
“The news is absolutely devastating,” his sister wrote. “The last flicker of Mark’s candle went out. Way too much trauma and way too much hurt. A life cut short.”