Valeri Nichushkin could have contract terminated later this year

Cooper Godin
May 22, 2024  (2:11 PM)

Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin.
Photo credit: NHL

The Colorado Avalanche were dealt a big blow for the second year in a row in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as Valeri Nichushkin left the team and entered the Player Assistance Program.

Losing a player like Valeri Nichushkin wasn't easy for the Colorado Avalanche, who lost to the Dallas Stars in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This time around, there appears to be a growing frustration within the team regarding Nichushkin, who is now in the third stage of the Player Assistance Program.
Everyone is hoping that Nichushkin gets the help that he needs and given that this is his second violation, he won't be eligible to be reinstated until his six-month suspension is completed in October. For now, Nichushkin will remain with the Colorado Avalanche, but once he's reinstated, there's a possibility that the team could terminate his contract.
If the Avalanche decide to go down that route, it would be more than fair from their perspective given that, as mentioned, this is the second time as many years he's let his team down. And for Nichushkin, he needs a fresh start elsewhere to allow him to put all of this behind him and to focus on playing hockey.
"Nichushkin, 29, cannot have his contract terminated while he is in the program, but it's possible once he is eligible for reinstatement. Will the Avs do that? There are six years and $30.5 million remaining. It sure seemed like listening to Nichushkin's teammates that, despite the addiction, he violated their trust two years in a row when the season mattered most. This isn't a bottom-six role player, this was the playoff leader in goals at the time of his suspension. He is a horse. And even if Gabriel Landeskog is back healthy to start next season, the Avalanche will have some work to do to rebuild their depth, which was clearly outclassed by Dallas." Matt Larkin of Daily Faceoff said.

For both sides, it seems that going their separate ways would be for the best, but we'll have to wait and see what they decide to do once Nichushkin is eligible for reinstatement by the National Hockey League in the middle of October.
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Valeri Nichushkin could have contract terminated later this year

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