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Nichushkin’s absence looms larger with more details

More news has come out about his departure.

Seattle Kraken v Colorado Avalanche - Game Two Photo by Ashley Potts/NHLI via Getty Images

Valeri Nichushkin’s quick and immediate absence due to personal reasons has left Colorado Avalanche fans questioning his whereabouts. While it’s still unknown where he’s at now, more light has been shone on his reason for departure.

Frank Servalli reported this morning Nichushkin’s departure surrounds the use of alcohol. Something occurred in the team hotel Friday night, but there are still plenty of other details need to be dug up to put it all together. There is still no timeline for his return.

Obviously, the initial shock of his departure and learning he left with security from the hotel was concerning for all parties involved. If it is indeed alcohol-related, then this is a big deal and would be something to keep an eye on moving forward, especially if he does enter the NHL Player Assistance Program.

Of course, not only do we hope he is okay moving forward off the ice and gets whatever help and recovery he needs, but his absence on the ice was certainly noticeable in Monday night’s OT loss to the Seattle Kraken. Colorado was outworked and outmatched with puck battles and forcing the other team back - something Nichushkin is excellent at doing.

With Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog already missing the entire season (despite some fans hoping for his return due to this Nichushkin news), the task becomes that much harder for the Avs to repeat. They won the Stanley Cup in 2001 without Peter Forsberg, but now with two stars missing will become an increasingly more difficult task.

Wherever Nichushkin is and whenever he returns, we just hope for the best for him off the ice first and foremost. Hockey comes second whenever personal reasons become involved.