September 18, 1957 |
St. Clair Shores, MI, USA
|Height||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)|
Nova Scotia Voyageurs
New Haven Nighthawks
Fort Wayne Komets
Oklahoma City Stars
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||176th overall, 1977
|Representing United States|
|Men's Ice hockey|
|1980 Lake Placid||Team|
Mark Wells graduated from Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores, Michigan in 1975. Wells then attended Bowling Green State University from 1975 to 1979 where he was a star forward with the Falcons in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Despite his abilities as a player, Wells did not receive a scholarship offer to play hockey until after his first season with the team. Following the completion of his college career, Wells, along with Falcons teammate Ken Morrow, was selected to play on the 1980 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey team that went on to win the gold medal at Lake Placid.
Wells was selected 176th overall in the 1977 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He joined Montreal's top farm team the Nova Scotia Voyageurs after the Olympics but was unable to secure a spot on the Canadiens roster. He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings after the 1980 season, however refused the assignment and was released from his contract. Wells then signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers but spent the next two seasons shifting around the minor leagues playing for the New Haven Nighthawks, Flint Generals, Fort Wayne Komets and Oklahoma City Stars. Wells finally retired in 1982 without playing a single game in the NHL.
After playing career
Following his retirement from hockey, Wells worked as a restaurant manager in Rochester Hills, Michigan, but sustained a fractured vertebra while unloading crates. Following eleven hours of surgery, Wells was informed by the doctor that he had a rare degenerative spinal disease. The illness, which affects the disks in the spinal column, forced Wells to retire from work and has required multiple surgeries, leaving him bed-ridden for extended periods and clinically depressed. Wells did, however, manage to suit up for the reunion game with his 'Miracle on Ice' teammates prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City—against doctor's orders, playing in one shift and recording a shot on goal.
In 2010, financially struggling from medical bills and in need of finances for further surgery, Wells reluctantly sold his gold medal medallion to a private collector for $40,000. The medal was later auctioned off by the buyer for $310,700. Having kept the medal on his nightstand for over twenty years, Wells expressed in a 2010 Daily News article how difficult a decision it had been to sell the medal: "It killed me to sell the medal. Killed me. But my life was crumbling. I was going to lose my home. I needed to sell it to have surgery and to live. I had no choice."
In 2014 Mark Wells has resurfaced and is now circulating among his hometown of St Clair Shores, MI.. Wells is now attending civic events and has spoke at several special venues around his hometown including St Clair Shores Lions Club fundraiser, SCS Tree Lighting Ceremony in Dec 2014. and seminar at the Arsenal of Democracy.
Awards and achievements
|All-CCHA First Team||1976–77|||
|All-CCHA First Team||1978–79|||
- Olympic Gold Medal in Men's Ice Hockey, U.S. Men's Ice Hockey team: 1980
- St. Clair Shores, Michigan, city officials rename the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena’s Olympia Room as the Mark Wells Ice Rink: 2014
In popular culture
Wells is not featured in a 1981 TV movie about the 1980 U.S. hockey team called Miracle on Ice except in archival footage of the gold medal ceremony.
- Mark Wells: ‘I still can’t believe it’
- Mark Wells' story goes from 'Miracle' to misery after helping United States beat Soviets in 1980
- A 1980 Olympian Is Dreaming of His Miracle on Ice
- "Mark Wells' 'Miracle on Ice' Gold Medal Sells for $310,700". AOL. November 6, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
- "CCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- St. Clair Shores to dedicate ice rink to Mark Wells