Strange Details Surface Concerning Valeri Nichushkin’s Absence From The Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin

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NHL players tend to have an almost superhuman ability to overcome setbacks during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in order to ensure they can contribute to their team’s quest for hockey’s biggest prize.

Take, for example, Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin, who was somehow able to play with an incredibly broken bone in his foot during Colorado’s championship run in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2022.

There weren’t any indications Nichushkin was nursing an injury when the Avs kicked off their first-round showdown with the Kraken last week, and while he played in the first two games of the series, he hasn’t been on the bench since he was unexpectedly scratched ahead of Game 3.

Earlier this week, the Avalanche cited “personal reasons” for the largely unexplained absence while confirming it was not related to any health or legal issues.

However, things took an interesting turn on Thursday thanks to information gleaned from a police report that was obtained by The Denver Post.

The outlet says the Seattle Police Department was dispatched to Nichushkin’s hotel room after receiving a call concerning an intoxicated woman who supposedly got combative with a team doctor who was sent to examine her, stating:

Team employees found the woman when they went to check on Nichushkin in his room at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seattle where the Avs were staying, according to the incident report.

The team doctor felt she was too intoxicated to safely leave the hotel in a cab, and called 911 at about 3:20 p.m. local time, the report states.

The 28-year-old woman, who The Post is not identifying, told authorities she was from Russia and was born in Ukraine, and said “she should never have come to the United States and that some guy took her passport and that he was a bad person,” according to the incident report.

She was taken to a hospital after officers found she was too intoxicated to care for herself.

It’s worth noting multiple law enforcement representatives stressed there was no need to conduct a criminal investigation into the incident, but it’s currently unclear if Nichushkin will return for Game 6 on Friday night.