Valeri Nichushkin celebrates a goal with his teammates
Photo credit: USA Today Sports

Avalanche receive troubling news regarding star forward, who is stepping away immediately

Published January 15, 2024 at 6:53 PM

In recent seasons, we have seen a number of players enter into the NHL's Player Assistance Program for a variety of reasons, whether relating to mental health, substance abuse or several different reasons. Whatever the concern, it's nice to see players reaching out for help and it's fantastic that the league and the Players Association have such a program in place to help support the players.

On that note, the NHL and the NHLPA have announced that Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin will be unavailable to the organization for an indefinite period of time as he has entered the Player Assistance Program.

The soon-to-be 29-year-old from Chelyabinsk, Russia was enjoying what was going to be a career-year. He had 22 goals and 42 points in just 40 games for the Avalanche this season with his previous career highs being 25 goals and 52 points in 2021-22.

Drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars, Nichushkin struggled to begin his NHL career. He had just 23 goals and 74 points in 223 games across 4 seasons with the Stars, which included his 2018-19 campaign with 0 goals and 10 assists in 57 games.

With the Avalanche he restored his career and has scored 87 goals and 189 points in 275 games, while also claiming a Stanley Cup ring in the spring of 2022 where he chipped in with 9 goals and 15 points. He earned an 8-year deal worth 49 million in the summer of 2022.

The NHL's statement on the matter was short and the Avalanche haven't commented on the matter just yet, however, "under the terms of the joint program, he will return to the Club when cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators."

January 15   |   673 answers
Avalanche receive troubling news regarding star forward, who is stepping away immediately

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