AVALANCHE

Avalanche agree to massive eight-year contract with big playoff contributor

Jul 11, 2022, 4:03 PM
Valeri Nichushkin...
Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Choo, Choo!

The Colorado Avalanche are bringing back key playoff contributor Valeri Nichushkin on a massive eight-year contract. The team announced the news on Monday afternoon and Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic had it first.

Nichushkin played in 62 games this past season, scoring 25 goals and adding 27 assists. He turned it to another level in the playoffs, scoring nine goals in the Avs 20 game Stanley Cup run. Nichushkin was one of the better players in the Final series against Tampa Bay, scoring four goals and adding two assists.

Nichushkin cashes in with a really nice $49 million contract, as it became apparent over the past several days that he was a huge priority for Avalanche president Joe Sakic and new GM Chris MacFarland.

“Signing Val to a long-term deal was a top priority for us this offseason, as he would have been one of the most sought-after forwards on the open market,” said Sakic in a release from the team. “Val is a big, strong, fast, tenacious winger who is relentless on the puck. He can play on the first line with our top guys, you can move him up and down the lineup. He plays power play, penalty kill, any situation you need him to. He works hard off the ice as well in the gym and is a humble person and great teammate. He is such an important player in our lineup and a huge reason why we won the Stanley Cup.”

Free agency is set to open on Wednesday morning, with the Avs having key members of the Cup team like Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky and Josh Manson all set to hit the open market. But Nichushkin isn’t going anywhere.

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