Sordid Details Revealed on Nichushkin’s Absence From Avalanche

There's been plenty of mystery around where Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin has disappeared to. He hasn't played in the Avs' opening-round series against the Seattle Kraken since Game 2, and no explanation has been forthcoming.

Until now.

The Denver Post has obtained a report from Seattle Police that reveals that a woman was found so intoxicated in Nichushkin’s hotel room on Saturday that she struck an Avalanche team doctor who was forced to call for an ambulance to take her to a hospital. 

Team employees found the woman when they went to check on Nichushkin in his room at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seattle where the Avs were staying, according to the incident report. The team doctor felt she was too intoxicated to safely leave the hotel in a cab, and called 911 at about 3:20 p.m. local time, the report states.

Nichushkin didn't play in Game 3 that night in Seattle, and has been away from the team ever since. 

A Seattle Police Department spokesperson said there is no criminal investigation around the incident.

For now, the Avalanche are only saying that Nichushkin is not with the team due to "personal matters" and that he is not out due to any disciplinary action or legal issues.

Avs coach Jared Bednar says there's currently no timeline for the 28-year-old's return. 

Nichushkin is just completing the first season of an eight-year, $49M contract. He notched 47 points in 53 games this season, and played in a career-best 20 minutes per game. 

The Avs will try to fend off elimination Friday night, as they trail the Kraken 3 games to 2. But they'll have to do it without Nichushkin and Cale Makar.

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports