Andy Strickland is a reporter I respect. He works in St. Louis for Blues TV, but also hosts an entertaining podcast called “Cam and Strick.” He posted something on Valeri Nichushkin this morning:
The Colorado Avalanche and Valeri Nichushkin are closing in on an extension. Still some work to get down before deal is completed. ##GoAvsGo
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) July 8, 2022
For the record, I’m hearing similar things with a couple of sources. I think it’s going to be a very nice deal for Big Val, a long-term deal. What will be the cap hit? I’m not quite as sure on that, but I’ll guess it’ll be in the $5 million range.
Nichushkin really emerged this year as a top two-way forward in the NHL. We all saw what he did in the playoffs too, and earned toughness points for playing on a broken foot in Game 6 against Tampa Bay.
It’s hard to fathom how far Valeri Nichushkin has come since first taking a bargain-basement contract after being let go by the Dallas Stars. He went nearly 100 NHL games without a goal, looking like the most snakebit guy of all time.
Gradually, things just kept getting better and better and better. Now, he’s kind of a star in the league, playing for a Stanley Cup champion.
We’ll see if today, or this weekend, a new deal is finalized. If not, he could still go UFA on July 13. I do not expect that to happen, however. I believe he will be a member of the Colorado Avalanche for several years to come.