NHL Star’s “Personal Issues” Rock Colorado Avalanche in Playoff Blow

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Colorado Avalanche’s Valeri Nichushkin Sidelined for Playoffs, Months Due to Program Violation

The Colorado Avalanche have suffered a significant blow to their playoff hopes with the suspension of Valeri Nichushkin for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and several months due to a violation of the NHL/NHLPA Assistance Program (APA).

Nichushkin’s Program Violation and Suspension

The announcement of Nichushkin’s suspension came hours before the Avalanche faced the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinals series. It marks the second time the Russian winger has entered the program this season, indicating a potential violation of the program’s terms.

Under the terms of the joint program, Nichushkin will be suspended without pay for at least six months and is eligible to apply for reinstatement afterward.

Nichushkin had been a key contributor to the Avalanche’s success in the playoffs, leading the team with nine goals in 13 games.

History of Issues for Nichushkin

Nichushkin’s current absence is not his first brush with personal issues. Earlier in the season, he spent nearly two months in the APA program for undisclosed reasons.

Last season, Nichushkin was absent from the final five games of the playoffs due to “personal reasons.” According to reports, he left the team before Game 3 of their series against the Seattle Kraken after an incident involving a 28-year-old woman at a hotel.

Impact on the Avalanche

With Nichushkin out, the Avalanche will have to adjust their lineup for the remainder of the playoffs. The team will miss his offensive production and physical presence.

The loss of Nichushkin adds to the Avalanche’s injury woes, as several other key players have also been sidelined during the playoffs.

Unveiled Reasons for Nichushkin’s Absence

In a recent interview, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar opened up about Nichushkin’s absence during last season’s playoffs.

“Val made a mistake. He put himself in a situation where he shouldn’t have been,” Bednar said. “I think he’s learning from it.”

The coach also confirmed that Nichushkin entered the APA program voluntarily and is receiving ongoing support.

“He’s got our support, and we’re going to help him get back on track,” Bednar said.

Support for Nichushkin

The LA News Center and the hockey community at large wish Nichushkin well as he embarks on this challenging journey of recovery and support.