Miracle On Ice

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Another Miracle on Ice player’s Olympic gold medal being auctioned

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Steve Christoff‘s Olympic gold medal is going up for auction again.

The Miracle on Ice forward’s medal and his final jersey are part of Goldin Auctions’ 2020 Winter Auction from next Monday to Feb. 22 at GoldinAuctions.com. The auction ends on the 40th anniversary of the U.S.’ 4-3 win over the Soviet Union in Lake Placid.

The medal and jersey were consigned by somebody other than Christoff, according to Goldin. Christoff’s gold medal was previously put up for auction in 2013 and 2017, but did not sell either time, according to those websites.

Christoff starred in the last game of the 1980 Olympics, a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Finland to clinch the gold. He scored the first U.S. goal and assisted on the last one.

He was also the U.S.’ leading scorer in its pre-Olympic slate of 56 games, tallying 35 goals, according to Wayne Coffey‘s book “The Boys of Winter.”

Christoff, a standout for Herb Brooks‘ 1979 NCAA title team at Minnesota, would become the model for the trophy for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top male college hockey player. Christoff played parts of five NHL seasons with the Minnesota North Stars, Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings in the 1980s before becoming a pilot.

At least two of Christoff’s 1980 Olympic teammates previously sold their gold medals.

Mark Pavelich‘s medal was auctioned for $262,900 in May 2014. Mark Wells‘ medal was auctioned for $310,700 in November 2010, after he sold it privately for about a reported $40,000.

Captain Mike Eruzione sold his stick from the U.S.-Soviet Union game and his jersey from the final game against Finland to a 9-year-old boy named Seven in 2013, but not his gold medal.

Goalie Jim Craig and Dave Christian put their medals up for auction, but they reportedly did not meet minimum reserve prices and were not sold.

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Steve Christoff
Courtesty Goldin Auctions
Steve Christoff
Courtesty Goldin Auctions

Miracle on Ice reunion to include all but 2 players from 1980 Olympic hockey team

Miracle on Ice
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All but two players from the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team will gather for a 40th anniversary weekend in Las Vegas, an event organizer said.

“Relive the Miracle,”, reminiscent of a 35th anniversary celebration in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 2015, will be Feb. 21-22 in Las Vegas.

“Back then [in 2015], we had talked about doing it again,” said Jeff Holbrook, who helped organize the 35th and 40th anniversary events. “We’ve been sort of talking about it on and off since that time. Getting the [players] to be on board, I certainly don’t want to say it was easy because it’s never easy when you’re dealing with that many different people, but I think everybody knew when you pack a place like Like Placid with 10,000 people, you know the concept is there. So I think getting them behind it wasn’t hard to do.”

Eighteen of the 20 players on the Miracle on Ice roster committed, including captain Mike Eruzione and goalie Jim Craig, Holbrook said.

The weekend will be missing defenseman Bob Suter, who died in 2014, and forward Mark Pavelich, who was jailed last year on assault charges and ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial.

The 35th anniversary included all living team members gathering for the first time since coach Herb Brooks‘ death in 2003. The only other full reunion since 1980 was for an NHL All-Star weekend event in Los Angeles in 2002. When the team lit the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic cauldron, it was missing Mike Ramsey and Pavelich.

The 40th anniversary weekend kicks off with a two-hour Vegas Golden Knights season-ticket holder event at Brooklyn Bowl on Feb. 21, a Friday night. Holbrook said it sold out in 16 minutes.

Then on Saturday, Holbrook said the goal is for 12,000 people to attend an event at the Thomas & Mack Center on the exact 40th anniversary of the 4-3 win over the Soviet Union.

That “will feature the team on stage with an interactive display of video, audio, memorabilia and never-before-seen components from their Olympic triumphs. A celebrity emcee will moderate conversations between the players, celebrities, and NHL stars as the team takes you through the Miracle on Ice with behind-the-scenes information and stories that chronicle ‘what really happened,'” according to a press release.

Differences from 2015 include the addition of 1980 U.S. Olympic assistant coach Craig Patrick and plans for an element from the Soviet perspective. Holbrook also said there will be celebrity involvement from both the hockey and non-hockey realms. Holbrook, a managing partner for Potentia Athletic Partners whose clients have included Wayne Gretzky, would not reveal specifics but said “the names are substantial.”

Finally, the 1980 team members will be honored during the Golden Knights game versus the Florida Panthers at T-Mobile Arena that Saturday night.

“The tentacles of the Miracle on Ice are so vast,” Holbrook said. “People from different walks of life, whether it’s rock bands or movie stars or politicians, whatever it is, have all been affected by it.”

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Mark Pavelich, Miracle on Ice hockey player, ruled mentally ill, dangerous

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GRAND MARAIS, Minn. (AP) — Mark Pavelich, a forward on the “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team, is mentally ill and dangerous and should be committed to a secure treatment facility, a Minnesota judge ordered on Wednesday.

Pavelich, 61, of Lutsen, was charged with felony assault in August for allegedly beating a friend with a metal pole, breaking several bones. Charging documents say Pavelich accused the friend of spiking his beer.

Judge Michael Cuzzo found Pavelich incompetent to stand trial, and the criminal case was put on hold while the state sought to have Pavelich committed.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that a hearing in February will determine whether Pavelich should stay committed for an undetermined amount of time.

According to Cuzzo’s order, one psychologist found Pavelich had delusions and paranoia, including a delusion that those closest to him were trying to poison him. Another psychologist found he suffered from a mild neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, likely related to repeated head injuries.

Pavelich’s family members have said they believe he suffers from CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, after repeated concussions from his time in the NHL. They said they started seeing changes in him a few years ago and he has refused help.

CTE, which can be diagnosed only after death, has been found in several former NHL players, more than 100 former NFL players and in dozens more athletes and members of the military who have been exposed to repetitive head trauma. The disease can lead to memory loss, depression and even suicide.

The NHL has long denied there is a conclusive link between repeated blows to the head and CTE.

Pavelich’s sister, Jean Gevik, said her brother’s situation was “heartbreaking.”

The NHL has been criticized for the way it has handled head injuries. Last year, the league settled a court case with hundreds of retired players who claimed they were harmed by head injuries. The NHL admitted no wrongdoing. Pavelich did not make a claim, Gevik has said.

Pavelich had two assists in the United States’ 4-3 win over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games medal round. The U.S. then beat Finland to win the gold medal. Pavelich later played for the New York Rangers and two other NHL teams.

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