Valeri Nichushkin Suspended Six Months, in Stage 3 of Player Assistance Program

Valeri Nichushkin Suspended Six Months, in Stage 3 of Player Assistance Program

Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin has been suspended without pay for a minimum of six months after entering Stage 3 of the NHL’s Player Assistance Program, the NHLPA announced on Monday.

Nichushkin will be able to apply for reinstatement to the league at the conclusion of the six-month period.

Nichushkin, 29, has led the Avs in goals during their postseason run, logging a playoff high nine goals across eight games. He’ll miss the remainder of the playoffs and stands to be out for at least the start of next season, too.

Colorado is set to play Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinals series against the Dallas Stars on Monday night. The announcement of Nichushkin’s suspension came just a few hours before puck drop.

Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff reports that his sources say Nichushkin failed a drug test.

#Avs forward Val Nichushkin has been suspended without pay for a minimum 6 months for violating terms of #NHL/#NHLPA Player Assistance Program.

Sources say Nichushkin recently failed a drug test. He missed playoff games last year after a 911 call in Seattle in which an… pic.twitter.com/clav00e5Dv

— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) May 14, 2024

The Russian forward missed time earlier this season after entering the Player Assistance Program. Additionally, he missed the final five games of Colorado’s playoff series against the Seattle Kraken last season after leaving the team for personal reasons. Police reported that a woman was found intoxicated in his hotel room in Seattle before Game 3 of that series.

Nichushkin signed an eight-year, $49 million extension with the Avalanche in July 2022.

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