AceShowbiz - The cause of "Miracle on Ice" star Mark Pavelich's death has finally been confirmed. Through a news release, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office announced that the team USA hockey legend killed himself at the age of 63.
"The above individual died of asphyxia due to a plastic bag over head. The manner of death is suicide," the statement from the Medical Examiner's Office read. It also noted that the hockey star died at 08:35 A.M. on March 4 at the Eagle's Healing Nest in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.
Before his death, Pavelich underwent court-ordered treatment for a 2019 assault against his neighbor. In August 2019, he was jailed in northeastern Minnesota after beating his 63-year-old neighbor with a metal pipe for spiking his drink. Due the assault, his neighbor suffered two cracked ribs, a bruised kidney, a fractured vertebrae, bruises all over his body and potential internal bleeding.
In the wake of the attack, the former the New York Rangers star was charged with felony assault. As reported by The Star Tribute, judge Michael Cuzzo found Pavelich incompetent to stand trial. A psychologist claimed the former Minnesota North Stars and San Jose Sharks star suffered from a mild neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury.
The brain sore was said to be the result of repeated head injuries on the ice, including during his career in the National Hockey League. The outlet further reported that two clinical psychologists considered the late star mentally ill and dangerous.
The court document also revealed that Pavelich's family convinced he suffered from CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. His sister, Jean Gevik, described his case "heartbreaking." Gevik stated, "He's been an amazing brother. Fun. Loving. This has been a total change."
Pavelich retired from hockey in 1992. Following the 2012 death of his wife Kara due to accidental fall from balcony, he sold his gold medal for more than $250,000. On why he put the gold medal on sale, he told Yahoo Sports, "I'm doing a lot for my daughter here. I want her to get a step forward in life. That's probably the biggest reason."