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Valeri Nichushkin in action with the Colorado Avalanche
Photo credit: Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers

New issue emerges in Valeri Nichushkin's Colorado Situation

Published May 15, 2024 at 11:30
BY JULIEN TREKKER

A new issue has emerged in Valeri Nichushkin's situation with the Colorado Avalanche after he failed a drug test during an intermission.

Nichushkin broke a condition of the NHL's Player Assistance Program, which forced the League to take massive action against him.

This was the second time of the season that he joined the program. They placed him on the third phase of the program, meaning he'll be suspended for six months without pay.

Per Pierre LeBrun:


"Nichushkin now in Stage 3 of the program.
A refresher of the program stages:

Stage One - First in-patient treatment; no penalty

Stage Two - For violation of Stage One treatment plan, suspension without pay during active phase of treatment and then eligible for reinstatement

Stage Three - For violation of Stage Two treatment plan, suspension without pay for at least six months and then eligible for reinstatement.

Stage Four - For violation of Stage Three treatment plan, suspension without pay for at least one year. Reinstatement not assured."


The Avalanche already moved on, as they removed the player's nameplate from the locker room:

"#Avs Jack Johnson on Val Nichushkin:

«He made his decisions. That's all I'm going to say on that. He made his decisions.»

Nichushkin's nameplate has already been replaced in the Avs locker room."


As of now, the Avs must consider their options for the future. They'll need to decide if they trade him, keep him around or buy out his contract.

Nichushkin's $6.125 million AAV contract won't count on the Avs' payroll for the duration of his suspension, meaning they'll have some room to adjust while they make an official decision.

If they decide to buy him out, it would be a financial disaster for the organization, so they likely won't explore that avenue. As for a trade, it would be surprising to see a team being interested in him. However, as we saw with Evgeny Kuznetsov with the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Per The Hockey News:

"So what do the Avalanche do now? Well, they can try and trade Nichushkin, but good luck getting another team to take a chance on a player who won't be able to apply for reinstatement until sometime in November. They can try and buy him out of the remainder of his contract, but that will be even more costly than keeping him around."


Do you think Valeri Nichushkin played his last game with the Colorado Avalanche?

Source: Hockey Feed - Another issue emerges with Nichuskin's situation in Colorado
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May 15   |   638 answers
New issue emerges in Valeri Nichushkin's Colorado Situation

Do you think Valeri Nichushkin played his last game with the Colorado Avalanche?

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