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Avalanche forward Nichuskin suspended 6 months for NHLPA rules

Published May 13, 2024 at 7:26 PM

In a startling development that could severely impact the Colorado Avalanche's playoff aspirations, Valeri Nichushkin has been suspended for six months without pay.

This marks the second consecutive year Nichushkin will miss the playoffs, a significant setback for the team.

NHL insider Frank Seravalli reported that Nichushkin failed a drug test, breaching the NHLPA's Player Assistance Program's terms. Nichushkin's involvement with the program began last year following a distressing incident during the playoffs.

An emergency call led to the discovery of an unconscious woman in Nichushkin's hotel room, prompting his initial participation in the assistance program. He made a return to the ice in February of this season after some time away.

Nichushkin's absence is a considerable loss for the Avalanche, especially given his performance in the current season. Over just eight playoff games, he has already tallied an impressive nine goals and 10 points. His absence will likely diminish the team's offensive power, potentially leaving them at a disadvantage against formidable opponents like Dallas.

As Nichushkin faces these personal challenges and battles with addiction, it's hoped that this suspension serves as a crucial turning point in his recovery journey. The situation underscores the pressures and hurdles professional athletes often encounter and highlights the importance of mental health support within professional sports leagues.

This unexpected twist not only affects Nichushkin and his career but also poses a tactical dilemma for the Avalanche as they navigate the playoff season without one of their top scorers.

The team will need to recalibrate and adapt quickly to maintain their competitive edge in the high-stakes games ahead.
May 13   |   67 answers
Avalanche forward Nichuskin suspended 6 months for NHLPA rules

How likely is it that Nichuskin will return to the NHL after this new suspension?

Yes, he'll be back1420.9 %
No, this might be too much4465.7 %
See Results913.4 %
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