Avalanche's Valeri Nichushkin Suspended for 6 Months

The NHL and NHLPA have announced that Colorado Avalanche star forward Valeri Nichushkin has been placed in Stage 3 of the Player Assistance Program. This placement comes with an automatic six-month suspension without pay, and then he will be permitted to apply for reinstatement. 

Nichushkin, 29, was on a tear for the Avalance this postseason, posting nine goals and an assist in just eight games. However, this placement in the Player Assistance Program will put an end to his postseason. 

Nichushkin was also in the Player Assistance Program earlier this regular season. He would later return and put together a strong 2023-24 campaign, posting 28 goals to go along with 53 points and a plus-5 rating in 54 games played.

According to NHL insider Frank Seravalli, sources told him that Nichushkin failed a drug test. 

Nevertheless, this is a situation that we will need to keep a very close eye on from here. For now, the Avalanche know that they will be without one of their best players for the rest of the postseason.

photo credit: © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports