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Valeri Nichushkin is already causing another headache to the Avalanche


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Julien Trekker
May 15, 2024  (2:01 PM)
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The Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin in action with the Colorado Avalanche.
Photo credit: Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers

After joining phase three of the NHL's Player Assistance Program for failing a drug test during an intermission, Valeri Nichushkin is already causing another headache to the Colorado Avalanche.

Nichushkin, who got suspended for six months without pay by the NHL, has taken a lot of heat for his decision. The Avs didn't waste time to remove his nameplate from the locker room, and his teammate Jack Johnson couldn't be clearer when he said:
"He made his decisions. That's all I'm going to say on that. He made his decisions."

Nichushkin's nameplate has already been replaced in the Avs locker room."

Unfortunately, it's not over for the organization. They now have a big decision to make regarding Nichushkin.
All options must be considered; they could buy him out, they could trade him, or finally, decide to keep him.
It's important to take into consideration that while he's suspended, his $6.125 million AAV contract won't count of the team's payroll, leaving them with some wiggle room to navigate while they decide what road to take.
Keeping him could hurt the locker room. Players didn't approve of his choice and it could create some tension between him and his teammates.
Trading him would be an almost impossible thing to do. It would be surprising to see a team show interest in him after what he did.
This leaves the Avs the option to buy out his contract. Unfortunately, that probably won't happen, as it would be a disaster for the team's finances.
The Hockey News made the following report about the situation:
"So what do the Avalanche do now? Well, they can try and trade Nichushkin, but good luck getting another team to take a chance on a player who won't be able to apply for reinstatement until sometime in November. They can try and buy him out of the remainder of his contract, but that will be even more costly than keeping him around."

Do you think Valeri Nichushkin will remain with the Colorado Avalanche after his six-months suspension?
Source: Hockey Patrol - New issue emerges in Nichushkin's Colorado Situation
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Valeri Nichushkin is already causing another headache to the Avalanche

Do you think Valeri Nichushkin will remain with the Colorado Avalanche after his six-months suspension?

Yes9619.6 %
No39480.4 %
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