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Valeri Nichushkin signs with overseas hockey league while suspended from NHL


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Liam McCormick
June 5, 2024  (8:11 PM)
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Valeri Nichuskin with the Colorado Avalanche
Photo credit: USA Today

Earlier today, reports emerged that Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche has signed with the Media Hockey League in his home country.

The Media Hockey League is a summer league that runs from July 6th to August 31st, and it may be a good way for Nichushkin to keep himself game ready and in shape when he returns to the NHL for the upcoming season.
At the beginning of this year's playoffs, Nichushkin was suspended by the NHL without pay for failing a drug test, which was a severe violation considering he'd been placed in the player assistance program the year before. In the 2023 playoffs, Nichuskin left the Avalanche for personal reasons after an incident in a hotel room involving a heavily intoxicated woman.
Nichushkin signing with this overseas league may be an encouraging sign for the players and the Colorado Avalanche, as a sign that he's genuinely taking an active effort to help his recovery and stay ready to re-enter the NHL.
Nichushkin is signed for the next six seasons with the Colorado Avalanche for $6.125M each season, and with these personal issues, it may be hard to move a contract of that size. The Avalanche's best bet is to aid Nichushkin in his recovery any way they can, and make sure this situation doesn't happen again.
After the 6 month suspension is over in October, Nichushkin will have to re-apply to play in the NHL, and the league is expected to grant it. However, any more violations against Nichushkin may be a permanent problem for returning to hockey.
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Valeri Nichushkin signs with overseas hockey league while suspended from NHL

Do you think Nichushkin will finish his contract with the Colorado Avalanche?

Yes, he's an Avalanche for his career5322.2 %
No, they'll move on from him17272 %
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