Nichushkin Discusses Seattle Incident In Russian Interview

Colorado Hockey Now

Just when I thought things were starting to calm down, a 50 minute interview with Valeri Nichushkin pops up.

In part two of three, Nichushkin speaks with Russian YouTuber Mikhail Cherkasov, who visited Denver right before the start of the NHL playoffs. That means that all of these interviews occurred before the Russian forward was placed in stage three of the NHL/NHL Player Assistance program and suspended for six months. I remember seeing Cherkasov come into the locker room with his GoPro and talk to the Avalanche forward, as well as Yakov Trenin, who sat right next to Nichushkin the locker room.

Part one didn’t discuss too much that was terribly interesting, at least from an Avalanche perspective, but part two dives into the incident in Seattle last year. I’ve attached the video of the interview, but it’s obviously in Russian.

Rather than take a guess at what was being said, I had someone who speaks Russian translate what was said about Seattle, and they gave me permission to use the translation. Here’s what Val had to say…

“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.”

I don’t really think it’s any secret that Val battled through a lot of injuries that season. Everyone knew about the foot, but he made it pretty clear in the few times that he spoke that he was dealing with a lot of other things all year. This is the first I’ve heard of the shoulder injury, and the first I’ve heard that it would have impacted his availability against Seattle. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, just that I was not aware of it.

The earliest that Nichushkin can return to the Avalanche from his suspension is Nov. 13, but he would need to get clearance from the NHL to do so.

There will be more interviews coming in the future that might be of interest to the Avalanche, including more from Nichushkin, as well as talks with Alexandar Georgiev and Nikolai Kovalenko.

For a thread to follow along on everything Nichushkin said in the interview, you can start here. He speaks about a lot more than just the Seattle incident. Credit to @waggot_ on X for the thread.

The Avalanche do not have a comment on what was said by Nichushkin, per Corey Masisak of the Denver Post.

I’m at the airport ready to fly out to Disneyland for a few days, but if anything comes up, you can be sure you’ll find it here at CHN.

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