Avalanche Forward Nichushkin Suspended for Substance Abuse

Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin has been suspended for at least six months without pay and placed in stage 3 of the league's player assistance program for substance abuse. The suspension is effective immediately.

Avalanche Forward Nichushkin Suspended for Substance Abuse

Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin has been suspended for at least six months without pay and placed in stage 3 of the league's player assistance program for substance abuse. The suspension is effective immediately.

The NHL Department of Player Safety announced the suspension on Thursday, stating that Nichushkin violated the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

Nichushkin, 27, has played in 30 games for the Avalanche this season, recording four goals and nine assists. He was a key contributor to the team's Stanley Cup victory in 2022.

The Avalanche released a statement on the suspension, saying that they are "aware of the NHL's decision regarding Valeri Nichushkin."

"The Avalanche organization takes these matters very seriously and is committed to providing the necessary support to Valeri during this time," the statement said.

Nichushkin is not the first NHL player to be suspended for substance abuse. In recent years, several high-profile players have been suspended for similar violations.

In 2019, Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto was suspended for 25 games for violating the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

In 2018, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri was suspended for 10 games for violating the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

In 2016, Calgary Flames forward Micheal Ferland was suspended for 20 games for violating the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

The NHL's player assistance program is designed to help players who are struggling with substance abuse. The program provides players with access to counseling, treatment, and support.

Nichushkin is expected to miss the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. The Avalanche are currently in first place in the Western Conference. Nichushkin's suspension is a significant blow to the team's hopes of repeating as Stanley Cup champions.


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