Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche
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Insider on whether the Avalanche can terminate Nichushkin's contract

Published May 14, 2024 at 2:40 PM

TSN Insider Pierre Lebrun sheds some light on what options the Colorado Avalanche have when dealing with Valeri Nichushkin and his six-month suspension

With Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche now officially serving a six-month suspension from the NHL, his second in two years, there are many questions about what the team may do with his contract, and over what options they have. TSN's Pierre Lebrun is now shedding some light on that situation.

It's not exactly clear what happened for Nichushkin to end up back in the NHL's Player Assistance program. But, for those wondering whether Colorado might cut ties with Nichushkin completely via a contract termination, Lebrun says that can't happen.

"In case people are wondering, a league source said what has transpired here does not constitute grounds for the Avalanche to consider a contract termination. A league source also confirmed that Nichushkin will not count on the Avalanche's salary cap while he's suspended over the next six months. But if he's cleared from Stage 3 in six months, his contract goes back on the cap. That could be around November."

The Avalanche could choose to buy Nichushkin out of his current deal. According to Capfriendly's buyout calculator, that would cost the team a total of $26.5 million, and would be paid out in installments until after the 2035-36 season. Yes, 2036, not 2026. It's not an attractive option at all.

"The Val Nichushkin situation is going to be a fascinating to follow this off-season.

I've been told that this likely wouldn't qualify as grounds for contract termination."

As stated by Lebrun, the Avalanche want to be seen as being supportive of their players. At the same time, losing someone like Nichushkin twice in the past two postseasons is sure to ruffle feathers and cause his stock within the organization to drop. Regardless of what happens in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs for them, the Colorado Avalanche will have a huge decision to make over the summer.
May 14   |   286 answers
Insider on whether the Avalanche can terminate Nichushkin's contract

Should Colorado part ways with Valeri Nichushkin after his second stint in the Players Assistance program?

Yes, time to move on20872.7 %
No, he deserves another chance5318.5 %
I'm not sure258.7 %
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