Monday afternoon saw the Colorado Avalanche and NHLPA announce Valeri Nichushkin had entered the Player Assistance Program. It comes after rumors swirled earlier in the day before being confirmed this afternoon. He remains out indefinitely while receiving care and must be cleared to play once again. Nichushkin also released his own statement as well.
Nichushkin is now the second player this season who is a member of the Avalanche to enter the program, with Sam Girard also getting the help he needed for depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. His absence was from mid-November to the end of December.
There were no more details announced as to why Nichushkin is entering the program. Regardless of the matters, we have seen the difference in getting the help people needed just from Girard who has been stellar since his return. Hopefully, Nichushkin’s recovery and return will do the same.
His presence in the top six will be missed for the foreseeable future, missing out on his 22 goals and 20 assists so far this season. It was missing last season when he departed from the team during the playoffs after an incident in his hotel room but was cleared of any wrongdoing. We will have to see how the Avs do without him.
What matters most is that Val will recover and be okay off-ice first before making a return to hockey. Best of luck to Valeri Nichushkin in his recovery away from the team.