Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche
Photo credit: TSN

Valeri Nichushkin Releases Statement after Taking Indefinite Leave from Colorado Avalanche

Published January 15, 2024 at 7:25 PM

In the midst of what has been a great season for him so far, it was announced today that Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche is leaving the team for an indefinite period of time. Rumblings started this morning that he would be entering the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance program, and that has since been confirmed by the league.

"The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association announced today that forward Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche will be unavailable to his Club for an indefinite period while he receives care from the Player Assistance Program of the NHLPA and NHL.

Under the terms of the joint program, he will return to the Club when
cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators."

Since then, Nichushkin released his own statement though the Colorado Avalanche that gives some hint as to what he's dealing with and why he entered the assistance program.

"I have made the decision to seek help and enter the Players Assistance Program. My goal is to address my issues and prevent any negative outcomes once and for all. I want to thank my wife and family, my friends, the Avalanche organization and all of our fans for their understanding and support. I will do everything i can to get back on the ice and join my teammates as soon as possible." - Valeri Nichushkin

Whatever Nichushkin is dealing with, you wouldn't have guessed anything was wrong based on his performance on the ice. He leaves the Avalanche having played 40 games in 2023-24, and scoring 22 goals and 42 points. That put him on pace for around 86 points if he could have played all 82 games. It could have been a career year for him with a full season.

After winning a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2022, Nichushkin disappeared from Colorado's first round series against the Seattle Kraken the next season. While the Avs would go on to lose to Seattle, it was announced Nichushkin was out indefinitely, and he did not come back until the beginning of the current season.
January 15   |   285 answers
Valeri Nichushkin Releases Statement after Taking Indefinite Leave from Colorado Avalanche

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