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Avs forward Valeri Nichushkin suspended for at least 6 months an hour before Game 4 against Stars



Avs forward Valeri Nichushkin suspended for at least 6 months an hour before Game 4 against Stars

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Avalanche ahead Valeri Nichushkin was suspended for not less than six months with out pay and positioned in stage 3 of the league’s participant help program earlier than Sport 4 on Monday night time of a second-round sequence with Dallas.

The Nationwide Hockey League and Nationwide Hockey League Gamers’ Affiliation introduced the information about an hour earlier than the beginning of the sport with the Stars. It’s the second time this season he’s been in this system. Stage 3 means Nichushkin violated the phrases of this system.

The 29-year-old Russian ahead will miss the remainder of the postseason and the primary month subsequent season at a minimal.

His teammates heard the information as they arrived on the rink Monday night time earlier than a 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 workforce with 9 playoff objectives this season.

“Val is clearly combating one thing,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar stated after the sport. ”Yeah, it sucks for our workforce. We’ve received to show the web page. We’ve received to go play approach higher than we did right now. There’s nonetheless 20-plus guys in that room that care and wish to win and which might be right here. That’s what we’ve to deal with. It hurts our workforce. There’s no query. He’s an awesome participant.”

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

“I’ve gotten to know Val as an individual and I’ve gotten to know him as considered one of our teammates and I would like what’s greatest for him,” Bednar stated. “I would like him to be completely satisfied and I would like him to be content material in his life, whether or not that’s with our workforce or not with our workforce. 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 facet, you are feeling for any athlete who’s coping with points like that,” DeBoer stated.

Nichushkin was gone for almost two months earlier this season to obtain care from the NHLPA/NHL Participant Help Program for points that weren’t disclosed. This was on the heels of lacking the ultimate 5 video games of a playoff loss final season for what the workforce defined as private causes.

Nichushkin wasn’t obtainable to the workforce from Jan. 13 to March 7 after getting into this system. He turned the second Avalanche participant to enter this system in the course of the common season, following defenseman Samuel Girard, who stated in November that nervousness and despair led to alcohol abuse. Girard returned in mid-December.

In a first-round playoff sequence final spring in opposition to Seattle, Nichushkin abruptly left the workforce with solely the reason that it was for private causes. His absence began after officers responded to a disaster name on the 4 Seasons Lodge in Seattle earlier than Sport 3. A 28-year-old girl was in an ambulance when officers arrived, and medics have been informed to talk with an Avalanche workforce doctor to assemble extra particulars.

The report, obtained on the time from the Seattle Police Division by The Related Press, stated the Avalanche doctor informed officers that workforce staff discovered the girl once they have been checking on Nichushkin. The doctor informed officers the girl seemed to be closely intoxicated, too intoxicated to have left the lodge “in a trip share or cab service,” and requested EMS help.

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

Requested after the sport if he might see a state of affairs the place Nichushkin and the workforce might sooner or later reunite, Bednar merely responded: “I do not know.”


AP Hockey Author Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.



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