Family cites hockey as factor in Pavelich legal woes

GRAND MARAIS, Minn. (AP) — The family of a player on the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Olympic champion men’s hockey team says concussions and blows he received during his playing career have contributed to his current legal troubles.

A Minnesota judge Monday found 61-year-old Mark Pavelich incompetent to stand trial on charges he beat a neighbor with a metal pole. The case against Pavelich was suspended as authorities petition to have him committed.

The Star Tribune reports Pavelich’s sister, Jean Gevik, says her fun-loving brother has totally changed because of his degenerative brain disease. The National Hockey League reached a court settlement last year with hundreds of retired players who claimed harm from head injuries while playing. The NHL admitted no wrongdoing.

Pavelich later played for the New York Rangers and two other NHL teams.

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