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JoeC
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« on: April 05, 2021, 05:02:55 PM »

RIP, Mark Pavelich. Read today that official cause of death of the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey star (and ex-Ranger) was suicide (asphyxia). He had just turned 63 in February. Mark had suffered from CTE-like symptoms for years and in recent times added other mental health concerns such as delusions, paranoia, violent outbursts, etc.

Had read an interesting article some years back about the little Minnesota Iron Range town of Eveleth (population around 3500). That was where Mark Pavelich was from as well as old time NHL goalies Frankie Brimsek and Sam LoPresti, as well as a large number of US Olympic Team notables from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. In fact, seemed like whole US Olympic teams were stocked from the Iron Range.

In looking over the names of other hockey notables from Eveleth, I saw "Al Suomi." If any of you know Finnish, Suomi means Finland. So, looks like a case of a Finnish immigrant taking the name of his home country. Got a little chuckle out of that!

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Robb_K
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Hopeless Nostalgist


« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2021, 11:59:01 AM »

RIP, Mark Pavelich. Read today that official cause of death of the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey star (and ex-Ranger) was suicide (asphyxia). He had just turned 63 in February. Mark had suffered from CTE-like symptoms for years and in recent times added other mental health concerns such as delusions, paranoia, violent outbursts. Had read an interesting article some years back about the little Minnesota Iron Range town of Eveleth (population around 3500). That was where Mark Pavelich was from as well as old time NHL goalies Frankie Brimsek and Sam LoPresti, as well as a large number of US Olympic Team notables from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. In fact, seemed like whole US Olympic teams were stocked from the Iron Range.

When I was growing up in southern Manitoba, during the late 1940s and 1950s, The Iron Range (including the towns of: Duluth, Hibbing, Virginia, Eveleth, Bemidji, Ely, International Falls, Warroad, Baudette, and Roseau, was the main area in USA for producing hockey players, both for The US Olympic team, and for professional hockey.  The handful of American players that played professionally on Canadian and US teams came mainly from there, with a few others coming from the remainder of Minnesota, North Dakota, northern Michigan, Detroit Metro, New England, and northern Upstate New York (Buffalo and Rochester Metro Areas).  The Iron Range players had similar long winters and long-frozen lakes and outdoor rinks on which to practise and play, as well as a high quality level of coaching methods, keeping up with Canadian innovative norms of the time, because The Iron Range was more closely related to Canada than USA in practical terms, because Winnipeg and Thunder Bay (The Twin Cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario) were much closer, and really, were their "local" metropolitan areas.  Their respective youth hockey programmes were much more intertwined than those in the Ontario/New York, Quebec/New York, Quebec/New England states border areas.  When I was young, there were a couple youth leagues from The Iron Range that crossed The International Border for regular league games, and several regular tournaments that were always fed by teams from youth leagues and even school teams from both sides of the border.

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