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Avalanche’s Valeri Nichushkin placed in Stage 3 of Player Assistance Program, suspended six months


NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning
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Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin was placed in Stage 3 of the Player Assistance Program of the NHLPA and NHL, meaning he is suspended without pay for at least six months, the NHLPA and NHL announced Monday. After the suspension ends, he will be eligible to apply for reinstatement.

Nichushkin, 29, was away from the team for nearly two months during the regular season, from mid-January to early March. He also missed the final five games of the team’s opening-round playoff series against the Kraken in the opening round of the 2023 playoffs due to personal reasons.

The latest suspension came hours ahead of Colorado’s Game 4 contest against the Stars, with Dallas leading the series 2-1. Nichushkin had been on the ice for the team’s morning skate.

There was no reason given for Nichushkin’s placement in the program — the standard ever since the program began in 1996 — Pierre LeBrun outlined the stages of the program as such:

Nichushkin scored a goal in each of the Avalanche’s first seven games this postseason, tying the longest streak to open a postseason in NHL history, before he went scoreless in Game 3 against his former team. The Stars selected him 10th in the NHL Draft back in 2013; he joined the Avalanche in 2019.

Nichushkin registered a career-high 53 points in the regular season.





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