AVALANCHE

Avs won’t release statement on Nichushkin, so Bednar gets hit with many questions

Apr 28, 2023, 2:07 PM

The incident in Seattle surrounding Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin continues to lead to more questions and not many answers.

The Avs have declined to release a statement after a police report was obtained by Denver Sports, saying they have no comment on the situation. It involves Nichushkin, an intoxicated Russian woman, the Avalanche’s team doctor and law enforcement.

Because the team won’t comment, that leaves head coach Jared Bednar to answer the tough questions at press conferences. He got hit with eight of them about the Nichushkin situation after morning skate before Game 6 of their series with the Kraken on Friday.

Bednar was asked if he would speak on why Nichushkin is away?

“No, I can’t comment on it,” Bednar said.

He was then asked about the incident at the hotel.

“I’ve already told you he’s gone because of personal reasons. And once it’s personal reasons I’m not going to comment on it at all,” Bednar said.

A reporter followed up asking if it was Nichushkin’s choice or the team’s for him to miss the last three games.

“I’m not going to get into it,” Bednar said.

Then the coach was asked if Nichushkin violated team rules.

“I’m not going to get into it. Because it’s personal, it’s not a professional decision. Like, it’s a personal decision why he’s not here,” Bednar said.

He was asked next if he’s had personal conversations with Nichushkin since he left the Avs before Game 3.

“Yeah, I already answered that the other day. And I’m not going to comment on where his location is, either,” Bednar said.

The next question was if this absence was not for disciplinary reasons, as Bednar stated last week.

“Yeah. Because it’s personal,” Bednar said.

The coach was then asked if it’s personal, why can’t Nichushkin return?

“I didn’t say he couldn’t,” Bednar said.

The final question was about if there’s an update on Nichushkin’s timeline for potentially coming back.

“No,” Bednar said.

So, there you have it. Bednar is forced to answer these questions mere hours before an elimination game because team management is staying silent. Not even Nichushkin being mentioned multiple times in a police report warrants a statement, according to the Avs.

Colorado trails Seattle in their Round 1 series, 3-2, and will fight for their playoff lives later tonight, presumably without Nichushkin.

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