Avalanche Rumors: Colorado Could Part Ways With Valeri Nichushkin

Valeri Nichushkin's future with the Colorado Avalanche is steeped in uncertainty, fueled by recent developments and speculation from notable hockey analysts.

Sean Keeler of the Denver Post and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic have both discussed the potential for the Avalanche to consider moving on from Nichushkin.

This comes in light of his suspension and placement in Stage 3 of the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, events that have raised serious questions about his long-term reliability and fit within the team. With Nichushkin's recent absences, particularly during critical playoff periods, there's growing concern about his ability to contribute consistently.

His substantial contract and the impending activation of a no-trade clause add layers of complexity to any potential trade discussions. Nichushkin signed an 8-year, $49M contract ($6.1M AAV), back in 2022 and won't be a UFA until 2030-31.

The team has expressed a commitment to support Nichushkin through his personal issues, yet the repeated violations and the necessity of his suspension without pay hint at deeper trust issues that might influence his future with the organization.

When playing, the 29-year-old is one of the best goalscorers in the NHL, putting up 70 goals and 82 assists for 152 total points across 169 games played over the past three seasons.

Nichushkin proved he's a playoff performer this year as well, racking up 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 total points over just 12 games played this postseason, including an 8-game goal streak.

In this evolving situation, both the team's actions and Nichushkin's response will be closely watched, with implications for the team's roster strategy and Nichushkin's career trajectory in the NHL.

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