Val Nichushkin finally opens up on the 2023 playoffs incident in Seattle

Julien Trekker
July 8, 2024  (9:29)

Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin in action during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Photo credit: Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

Valeri Nichushkin, the controversial Colorado Avalanche forward, finally opened up in the 2023 playoffs hotel room incident in Seattle.

Over a year after he found himself in trouble with the law. Nichushkin finally revealed what happened in the first round of the 2023 playoffs against the Seattle Kraken.
In his side of the story, we learned what led him to this situation, but in the end, he was the one to make a bad decision.
The russian forward said that the Avalanche's medical staff determined he didn't need a surgery for a shoulder injury, which greatly affected his mental and physical state.
Watch the full Russian interview in the video below:
In his own words (translated from Russian):
"It was the most difficult season, there were a lot of injuries in the team all season. I missed 2 months due to bursitis. I also had a shoulder injury, which constantly bothered me. I always had problems sleeping, but because of the pain in my shoulder, the situation with my sleep got worse.

They did an MRI and they couldn't decide whether to have surgery or not. In the end, they decided not to do it and gave me injections in my shoulder. These injections stopped helping and they decided to inject me with another drug.

When we flew to Seattle, they decided that I would not play the match due to a shoulder injury, because I needed to not bother my shoulder for a while until the drug starts working and everyone on the team knew that I would not play until the end of the round. It put a lot of pressure on the psyche and was very annoying.

I had friends in Seattle at that moment and I made the wrong decision, we hung out with them at night and in the morning I flew to Denver. This girl in my room has nothing to do with me.

The club advised me not to give any comments, and I myself was not emotionally ready to explain all this. This was probably the wrong decision and it was necessary to tell the whole situation right away so that there weren't a bunch of different rumors. If we had made it to the second round, I would have been ready to play."

Serving a six-month suspension for entering the third phase of the Player Assistane Program, Nichushkin will be eligible to return in the NHL next November. Unless something changes, he is still a part of the team's plans going forward.
Stay tuned for more details.