AVALANCHE

Avs forward Valeri Nichushkin enters Player Assistance Program

Jan 15, 2024, 2:01 PM | Updated: 2:19 pm

Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin is out indefinitely after entering the Player Assistance Program of the NHLPA and NHL.

He will be paid while he receives treatment and can return to the club once he’s cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.

Per a statement released through the Avalanche, Nichushkin said it was his decision to enter the program.

Nichushkin is having a huge year for Colorado, posting 42 points by netting 22 goals and adding 20 assists. He’s fourth on the team in points, trailing only Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen. The 22 goals has him tied with Rantanen, just one behind MacKinnon.

Nichushkin was out for the Avalanche’s Saturday night game in Toronto, with the club saying he was sick. Colorado skates against the Canadiens on Monday tonight in Montreal.

Last season, Nichushkin missed the team’s final five playoff games against the Kraken after an incident at a Seattle hotel. Denver Sports tracked down a police report that detailed a bizarre series of events with a severely intoxicated woman in Nichushkin’s room who needed medical attention. A 911 call also shed some more light on the situation, involving the Avalanche’s team doctor and the woman striking him.

9NEWS obtained police body camera footage of the situation. A woman who was born in Ukraine but from Russia said a “bad man” stole her passport. Seattle PD muted the audio at several key moments that could have detailed more of Nichushkin’s involvement in the ordeal.

The forward was not disciplined and returned to Colorado at the start of this season. When he met with reporters at training camp, Nichushkin declined to discuss details about what happened in Seattle.

The Avalanche are currently 28-12-3 on the season, good for 59 points and second in the Central Division, just one behind the Winnipeg Jets. They’ll continue to make a run toward the top seed in the Western Conference, but will have to do it without Nichushkin for the time being.

Avalanche

Justus Annunen Avs...

Will Petersen

The Avs make another goalie move, may mean Annunen is healthy

The Avs made yet another goalie move, as Ivan Prosvetov has been sent back to the minors, potentially signaling Justus Annunen is healthy

16 hours ago

Avalanche Artturi Lehkonen...

Will Petersen

Huge second period propels Avalanche to big win, series all tied up

The Colorado Avalanche are a resilient bunch, proving that against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night in a 5-2 Game 2 victory

1 day ago

Ivan Prosvetov Avalanche goalie...

Will Petersen

Avalanche goalie situation gets more interesting ahead of Game 2

While many fans would like to see the Avalanche switch to backup goalie Justus Annunen in Game 2, it sounds like that's not going to happen

2 days ago

Alexandar Georgiev...

Will Petersen

Alexandar Georgiev shouldn’t play another game for the Avalanche

If Justus Annunen is still sick, it's time to switch to Ivan Prosvetov; if he has an NHL jersey, he can't be worse than Alexandar Georgiev

2 days ago

...

Rachel Vigil

What went wrong for the Avalanche against the Jets?

Mike Evans reacts to the shocking loss against the Winnipeg Jets and takes a look at what elements of the team, such as the Avs' goaltending, are to blame for their loss.

3 days ago

Alexandar Georgiev...

Will Petersen

Alexandar Georgiev has another bad night, Avalanche lose Game 1

Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev gave up four goals on the first 10 shots of the game he faced on Sunday, and things didn't get better

4 days ago

Avs forward Valeri Nichushkin enters Player Assistance Program