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HomeLocal NewsColoradoAvs' Valeri Nichushkin suspended for 6 months without pay

Avs’ Valeri Nichushkin suspended for 6 months without pay

NEW YORK — Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin has been suspended for six months without pay as part of the Player Assistance Program, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced Monday.

The announcement was released just one hour before puck drop for Game 4 of the Avs-Stars series.

In its announcement, the NHL said Nichushkin has been placed in Stage 3 of the Player Assistance Program. The program is a joint venture between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) and was created to help those who are battling alcohol and substance abuse, addiction, and mental health struggles. Nichushkin previously entered the program at the beginning of the year and returned to the ice in March.

Under the terms of the program, he will be suspended without pay for a minimum of six months and will be eligible to apply for reinstatement, the NHL said.

Nichushkin has been instrumental for the Avs in this playoff run. He is currently tied for the overall lead with 9 goals scored so far. He recorded his first career hat trick in Game 4 against the Winnipeg Jets.

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