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Avalanche Valeri Nichushkin suspended for at least 6 months an hour before team’s playoff game loss – KGET 17



Avalanche Valeri Nichushkin suspended for at least 6 months an hour before team’s playoff game loss – KGET 17
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DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche are with out high-scoring ahead Valeri Nichushkin for what’s left of the playoffs — once more.

The 29-year-old Russian was suspended for a minimum of six months with out pay and positioned in stage 3 of the league’s participant help program simply hours earlier than the Avalanche misplaced Sport 4 of their second-round sequence with Dallas on Monday night time.

It’s the second time this season he has been in this system. Stage 3 means Nichushkin violated phrases of this system, which gives assist for all the pieces from psychological well being must substance abuse. Nischuskin will miss the remainder of the postseason and the primary month subsequent season at a minimal.

The Nationwide Hockey League and Nationwide Hockey League Gamers’ Affiliation introduced the information about an hour earlier than the beginning of the sport. His teammates heard the information as they arrived on the rink earlier than a lackluster 5-1 loss to the Stars that pushed them to the brink of elimination. They have been outshot by a 16-2 margin within the first interval and path the best-of-seven sequence 3-1.

Sport 5 is Wednesday in Dallas. Nichushkin leads the staff with 9 playoff targets this season.

Particulars of Nischuskin’s struggles haven’t been disclosed. In a first-round playoff sequence final spring towards Seattle, Nichushkin abruptly left the staff and missed the ultimate 5 video games of the postseason.

“Val is clearly scuffling with one thing,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar mentioned. ”Yeah, it sucks for our staff. We’ve obtained to show the web page. We’ve obtained to go play means higher than we did at the moment. There’s nonetheless 20-plus guys in that room that care and wish to win and which might be right here. That’s what now we have to deal with. It hurts our staff. There’s no query. He’s an incredible participant.”

Bednar wasn’t prepared to journey down the trail when requested if Nichushkin could have let down the staff.

“I’ve gotten to know Val as an individual and I’ve gotten to know him as one in every of our teammates and I would like what’s greatest for him,” Bednar mentioned. “I would like him to be completely happy and I would like him to be content material in his life, whether or not that’s with our staff or not with our staff. I would like the very best for him and his household. I feel all of our guys are the identical. We hope that he can discover some peace and get assist.”

Stars coach Pete DeBoer echoed these ideas.

“On the human aspect, you’re feeling for any athlete who’s coping with points like that,” DeBoer mentioned.

Nichushkin was gone for almost two months earlier this season, from Jan. 13 to March 7, to obtain care from the NHLPA/NHL Participant Help Program for points that weren’t disclosed. He was the second Avalanche participant to enter this system throughout the common season, following defenseman Samuel Girard, who mentioned in November that nervousness and melancholy led to alcohol abuse. Girard returned in mid-December.

Final spring, Nischuskin’s absence began after officers responded to a disaster name on the 4 Seasons Resort in Seattle earlier than Sport 3. A 28-year-old lady was in an ambulance when officers arrived, and medics have been advised to talk with an Avalanche staff doctor to collect extra particulars.

The report, obtained on the time from the Seattle Police Division by The Related Press, mentioned the Avalanche doctor advised officers that staff staff discovered the lady after they have been checking on Nichushkin. The doctor advised officers the lady seemed to be closely intoxicated, too intoxicated to have left the resort “in a journey share or cab service,” and requested EMS help.

Earlier than the season, Nichushkin dodged questions concerning the scenario, saying solely, “I do know you guys wish to discover one thing there, but it surely’s nothing actually fascinating. I feel we should always shut it.”

Requested after the sport if he might see a situation the place Nichushkin and the staff might in some unspecified time in the future reunite, Bednar merely responded: “I do not know.”


AP Hockey Author Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.