Avalanche stay vague, but management takes first questions on Nichushkin

May 9, 2023, 12:24 PM

For the first time since Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin left the team 17 days ago under mysterious circumstances, someone in management took questions on the situation.

On Tuesday, Colorado GM Chris MacFarland met with the media to discuss captain Gabriel Landeskog undergoing yet another knee surgery and likely missing the 2023-24 season. But it was also the first time since Round 1 ended in a disappointing seven-game loss to the Kraken that an executive has spoken.

After receiving a few questions about Landeskog, MacFarland was asked about Nichushkin. There’s been a police report and a 911 call revealed around an “incident” at the team’s hotel before Game 3 against Seattle, but details remain hard to come by.

“It’ll just be consistent with what the messaging has been. We can’t comment on Val’s situation at this time,” MacFarland said at first.

When pressed with a follow up, MacFarland gave the most information yet on Nichushkin. The forward signed an eight-year, $49 million contract last offseason, and MacFarland confirmed he would like him on the team moving forward.

“He was a very important part of the team in our past, and that’s our hope that he’s going to be a very important part of our team in the future for sure,” MacFarland said.

MacFarland was asked another question, about if the uncertainty with Nichushkin is frustrating, given how much salary cap space the contract takes up. Nichushkin is projected to earn $7.5 million next year with a $6.125 million cap hit.

“I think we know what we have in terms of our cap,” MacFarland said. “We think we have a pretty good feel on the areas we want to tighten up and and improve to get the roster where we feel is in a good place as we enter training camp next year. So we’re excited.”

Previously, only head coach Jared Bednar had taken questions on Nichushkin, consistently saying it was a “personal situation” causing the absence.

The Avs scored two or fewer goals in three of the five games without the productive forward against the Kraken.



Avalanche Utah...

Will Petersen

The new Avalanche “rival” in Utah won’t pick a team name, for now

Mammoth, Yeti, Outlaws, Blizzard and Venom all remain as possible names for the Utah NHL team, which may have some Avalanche fans pausing

5 hours ago

Jonathan Drouin Avalanche Jets...

Will Petersen

There is big momentum for Jonathan Drouin to re-sign with the Avs

"When both sides want to make deals, deals happen," Allan Walsh, the agent for Jonathan Drouin, said about a possible return to the Avs

3 days ago

Gabriel Landeskog...

Will Petersen

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog to be in docuseries on Prime

Gabriel Landeskog will be one of 10 NHL players featured in a new docuseries on the streaming platform, set to debut this fall

7 days ago

Nathan MacKinnon Avalanche Nuggets...

Will Petersen

Avalanche and Nuggets parades weren’t as close as we thought

The Avalanche and Nuggets losing stung a town that had gotten used to titles; what happened to their opponents afterwards made it even worse

10 days ago

Avalanche Stars Artturi Lehkonen...

Will Petersen

There was another piece of Avalanche news to watch this summer

Chris MacFarland revealed that Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen is going to have a shoulder procedure this week; it will keep him out a bit

20 days ago

Valeri Nichushkin...

Will Petersen

Nichushkin could return to Avs, but suspension was “disappointing”

Both Gabriel Landeskog and Chris MacFarland talked about getting hit with the Nichushkin suspension news before Game 4 against the Stars

21 days ago

Avalanche stay vague, but management takes first questions on Nichushkin