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NHL suspends Valeri Nichushkin, Colorado Avalanche lose forward for rest of playoffs and longer

Denver Nuggets have a series on their hands, Avalanche struggling in second round
Denver Nuggets have a series on their hands, Avalanche struggling in second round 04:42

Colorado Avalanche veteran forward Valeri Nichushkin has been suspended by the NHL and will miss the rest of the playoffs and some or all of next season.  

Colorado Avalanche v Winnipeg Jets - Game Five
Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche looks on during a first period face-off against the Winnipeg Jets in Game Five of the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Canada Life Centre on April 30, 2024 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The suspension was announced Monday night jointly by the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association. The announcement states that Nichushkin "has been placed in Stage 3 of the Player Assistance Program of the NHLPA and NHL."

Nichushkin will receive no pay during his suspension. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement after six months.

Until Saturday's game against the Stars, Nichushkin had scored in each of the Avalanche's games this postseason. To say that the team will miss his presence greatly is an understatement. The team is currently down two games to one in their second-round series with Dallas.

The league hasn't announced what led to Nichushkin's suspension.

This is the second consecutive year that Nichushkin will be suddenly absent from a Colorado playoff series. A year ago he missed part of the Avalanche's playoff series against the Seattle Kraken for what was described as personal reasons.

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