After Barry Beck wrote a scathing Facebook post blaming the Rangers and USA Hockey for the death of Mark Pavelich, who passed away Thursday at 63, team president John Davidson reached out to the former Blueshirts captain to diffuse the strained situation.
“[Friday] I wrote an emotional post that stirred some controversy,” Beck wrote in a second Facebook post Sunday. “I understood everything I said and was soon thereafter contacted by NY Rangers President John Davidson. Years ago John, Mark and I were teammates with the Rangers. John and I discussed the remarks I had made.
“We both respect each other and agreed that at this time it’s best we focus on mourning the death of Mark.”
In his first post published Friday, a day after Pavelich passed away at a mental health treatment facility in central Minnesota, Beck said the Rangers and USA Hockey were “accountable” due to their lack of support for the “Miracle on Ice” star as he battled mental illness.
He also blasted Davidson, his Rangers teammate of four seasons, for not returning an email asking that the organization “publicly show their support for Mark by just saying one of their own former players was sick and we wish him well.”
“Well JD did not even return my email. I guess he was too [f—ing] busy,” wrote Beck, a Rangers defenseman from 1979-86. “He should have picked up the phone and called me. That would have been the right thing to do as we were teammates and he certainly would have my back right?”
In the 946-word post, Beck noted that he believes Pavelich’s condition was related to the head injuries he suffered throughout his seven-year NHL career.
Beck, who is coaching in Hong Kong, referred to the league as “cowards” for avoiding conversations about the lasting impact on the brain head injuries suffered while playing hockey can have. The cause of Pavelich’s death is still under investigation.
“We both hope our discussions will continue in the future,” the 63-year-old Beck wrote Sunday. “I’m very proud of Mark and how he battled taking steps forward while being sick. He was a kind gentle soul and will be dearly missed.”
The Post reported that Davidson had been in constant contact with Glenn Healy, the former Rangers netminder and current president of the NHL alumni association, regarding Pavelich. In the first Facebook post, Beck credited Healy and the alumni association for being “involved” with Pavelich.
In a statement posted Friday, the Rangers said they were “saddened” to learn of the passing of Pavelich, who played a key role in the United States’ iconic gold medal win at the 1980 Olympics.
Pavelich was undergoing treatment at a facility after he was charged with felony assault for fighting a neighbor in August 2019. He was found incompetent to stand trial because he was deemed by the judge to be dangerous and have a mental illness.
Beck wrote that Jean Gevik, Pavelich’s sister, believed her brother suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease often found in hockey and football players. Studies have found CTE, which can only be diagnosed after death, to be associated with depression, memory loss and dementia.