Robert Gearty writes about NHL hockey player and Olympic “Miracle on Ice” gold medalist, Mark Pavelich being found unfit because of mental illness in his assault case. In August, he was charged after beating his neighbor with a meatal pipe, accusing him of spiking his beer after a fishing trip. His sister spoke of how kind he always had been, blaming the act on possible chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) developed because of hockey.
The newsworthy value of this story is prominence as well as bizarre. At the beginning of the article, Gearty even introduces the assault suspect in a way that recognizes what Pavelich is known for, being a “Miracle on Ice” Olympic hockey player. It’s bizarre because when people think of Olympic gold medalists, they don’t usually coin them as being a criminal. It has the shock factor that makes this such an interesting story.
It was strange to me that they told of some of Pavelich’s achievements at the end of the story, giving him a bit more of a story. Even though it follows the inverted triangle, as it should, I feel like stories about criminals need to be more relevant to the now event of what is happening. It makes me think back to the Brock Turner stories. Where Turner was given a reason of why he raped the girl and listed what he was involved in at school and his grades and great reputation as a swimmer. Those facts have nothing to do with the case yet news stories still include them to give the suspect substance, make the story more interesting.
I don’t have a problem with updating the reader on what he has been up to since the Olympics. It was, however, kind of odd to note how many goals he had in the Games. Out of place.
CTE has currency. Lots of athletes, parents of athletes, fans, etc., are interested in the subject. It should be no surprise hockey players have the same issues as footballers.