Nichushkin enters Stage 3 of NHL Player Assistance Program


Valeri Nichushkin will once again be unavailable to the Colorado Avalanche during the playoffs. Nichushkin has entered Stage 3 of the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Unfortunately, Valeri Nichushkin will face a suspension without pay by the NHL for a minimum of six months, and then he can apply for reinstatement. The soonest that could be would be November 13, 2024.

Last year

Last season, as the Avalanche took on the Seattle Kraken, Nichushkin had an incident in his hotel room in Seattle. This incident led to him leaving the team for the rest of the playoffs as the Avalanche were eliminated. There were rumors that alcohol and drugs were involved, especially with the condition of the woman that was found in the hotel.

Enters program

The Russian forward would later return to the team right before training camp began. Nichushkin would start having himself a career season and then on February 26, he entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. He would remain away from the team for 40 days as the Avalanche struggled to put offense together.

ESPN confirmed during the pregame program that Nichushkin had failed a drug test. It is unclear what that “drug” was.


This will be the third time that he has left the team for reasons other than injury in less than 12 months. These days, it is not wrong to seek help for issues that he is having, be it mental or otherwise. The problem that he is having is hurting the team and now the Avalanche management needs to consider this. Should Nichushkin stick around? I know some fans will say to keep him and some will say to kick him to the curb.

One thing is for sure, if he violates his treatment plan again, there may not be any coming back. Nichushkin now risks a one year suspension and a ban from the NHL.

Leave a Reply