Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin, who has been away from the team since Game 3 last Saturday, was reportedly involved in an incident involving police at the team’s Seattle hotel, The Denver Post reports.
According to the Post’s Bennett Durando, a woman was reportedly found in the forward’s room so intoxicated that “a team doctor called for an ambulance,” as outlined by the Seattle Police Department’s report. Team employees allegedly found the woman while checking Nichushkin’s room, and after determining the woman was too intoxicated to safely leave via a taxi, called the police just after 3 p.m. local time.
The @denverpost can report Valeri Nichushkin was involved in a police incident at #Avs team hotel in Seattle, resulting in a woman who was found intoxicated in his room being transported to hospital for medical treatment. Nichushkin left Seattle that day. https://t.co/Hbyxm7OXaw
— Bennett Durando (@BennettDurando) April 27, 2023
While Nichushkin is not quoted in the report, the 28-year-old is considered to be amongst the “involved” parties, though it is unclear as to what the relationship, if any, the unnamed woman shares with the Avalanche skater.
Notably, a Seattle Police Department spokesperson indicated that there is no criminal investigation ongoing as fallout of the incident. Additionally, while the woman reportedly struck the team doctor, no charges were pressed.
No timeline has been given for Nichushkin’s return, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar told reporters on Sunday as news of the incident first began to surface. An Avalanche representative also reiterated that any absence is for “personal reasons,” declining to comment further on if the absence is related to the incident beyond confirming he is indeed absent.
The team has also reportedly been in contact with Nichushkin throughout the past several days.
From a hockey perspective, Nichushkin’s absence comes at an inopportune time for the Avs, who are desperately trying to stave off elimination at the hands of the upstart Seattle Kraken. Nichushkin had provided some early series heroics in Game 2, tying the game in a 3-2 win, but now becomes another key cog for an Avalanche team that has already had multiple key cogs miss some of or all of their first-round series.
NIchuskin played 53 games for the Avalanche this season, scoring 17 goals and collecting 47 points, the most productive season of his career on a per-game basis. He is in the first year of an eight-year contract signed last summer that carries an average annual value of $6.125 million.