Valeri Nichushkin, who missed Colorado’s last game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, is entering the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.
Here is the official release from the league regarding the situation…
The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that forward Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche will be unavailable to his Club for an indefinite period while he receives care from the Player Assistance Program of the NHLPA and NHL.
Under the terms of the joint program, he will return to the Club when cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.
Nichushkin released a statement through the team after the announcement.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 15, 2024
Nichushkin was on pace to have the best season of his NHL career. He’s tied for second on the team with 22 goals, and is currently second in the NHL in powerplay goals with 13. Obviously, everyone remembers the incident in Seattle and him leaving the team in the middle of the first round of the playoffs, but in training camp, the team welcomed him back with open arms. He responded by going on a run of scoring 20 goals in 31 games after a slow start. I hope he’s able to get the help he needs, as Sam Girard had mentioned he got everything he wanted out of the program.
We here at Colorado Hockey Now are wishing Nichushkin the best as he goes through the program.