Colorado Avalanche face challenge with new Valeri Nichushkin news

The Colorado Avalanche will be without Valeri Nichushkin for an unknown period of time as he waas placed into the NHL’s Player Assistance Program on Monday.
Vegas Golden Knights v Colorado Avalanche
Vegas Golden Knights v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Colorado Avalanche placed winger Valeri Nichushkin in the NHL’s Player’s Assistance Program on Monday. There has been no official word on what the reason is for this transaction, and I am not going to necessarily speculate on what the reasons could be as it is a sensitive matter.

I will say, however, that it puts the Colorado Avalanche in somewhat of a tough position going forward. Personally, I feel like this team is just so up and down. With the early season line changes and some key injuries, along with some suspect defense and goaltending issues, this is another hiccup in the team’s quest to get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On the season, Nichushkin has 42 points in 40 games, including 22 goals and 20 assists. He has been extremely productive as of late. He has four game-winning goals this season and seven goals in the last five games.

I think that this news could prompt the Colorado Avalanche to consider making a move at or near the trade deadline for somebody who could make an impact in the goal scoring department.

In July of 2022, Nichushkin signed an 8-year extension, which I felt, at the time, was a good deal for both sides. He is such a key piece to the Colorado Avalanche who really came onto the scene for them after being traded to Colorado by the Dallas Stars.

It would make sense that Nichushkin’s absence in recent games has something to do with this situation and it remains to be seen how long he will be out. I am sure there probably will be some more news on this situation going forward.

Earlier this season, Avalanche defenseman Sam Girard was placed in the Player Assistance Program for several weeks but has since returned. I wish all the best for Nichushkin and hope that he returns better than ever mentally.