The Colorado Avalanche announced this afternoon that their main priority for the offseason is here to stay. Valeri Nichushkin is a member of the Avalanche for eight more years, being paid $6.125M/year, as first reported by Pierre LeBrun.
Nichushkin has earned his stay in Colorado after being a big cog in the path toward the Stanley Cup. He will not test the waters of free agency that opens on Wednesday at noon ET. Val had himself a career year and sure has come a long way from where he was back in his Dallas Stars days.
In 82 games, including the playoffs, Nichushkin had 34 goals and 33 assists to tally up a total of 67 points. He increased his plus/minus total to 69 as well. That’s nice. His contract entails a no-movement clause for the first three years and then converts to a 12-team no-trade clause for the final five years.
Valeri Nichushkin's #avs extension includes a NMC for the first three years, and then converts to a 12-team NTC over the final five years.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 11, 2022
The 27-year-old’s new eight-year deal will keep him in Colorado practically the rest of his career until he is 35. Nichushkin will be a solid second-liner to come as he continues throughout the prime of his career. He may have to do it with new second-linemates though as both Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky look to be heading to the market on Wednesday.
Valeri Nichushkin, signed 8x$6.1M by COL, is an elite two-way winger who combines size, speed, forechecking, and skill in a way that few in the league can match.— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 11, 2022
Played exceptionally in smaller minutes before finally getting (and crushing) a top-line role this season. #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/jDEUkHZVrQ
Even with new faces likely on his line, he will lead the way. He did so en route to the Stanley Cup as a warrior with a broken foot, and show them how to barrel alongside the chu-chu train. He further cements his place in the Avalanche's top-six core along with the top line. Joe Sakic had this to say about the extension.