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NHL Rumours: Colorado Avalanche Forward Trade Update

NHL rumours

It’s time for another edition of NHL rumours. We started free agency a week ago, but there’s still plenty of chatter on the hot stove front. Teams have made their initial moves, but there’s a lot more to do in tweaking the final rosters before puck drop in October. One team that’s looking to get its hands on the Stanley Cup again is the Colorado Avalanche. This edition of NHL rumours looks at the Avalanche and an update on one of their forwards.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Colorado Avalanche Forward Future Update

Rumour: Evan Rawal of Colorado Hockey Now offered an update on the status of forward Valeri Nichushkin. The Russian is in in Stage 3 of the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program and suspended until at least the middle of November.

Analysis: Nichushkin was playing well in the recent Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, he went into Stage 3 of the assistance program. This is the second time that the 29-year-old forward has gone into the program. Colorado isn’t prevented from dealing Nichushkin at any time during his time in the program.

There had been some talk that the Chicago Blackhawks were entertaining the idea of acquiring the embattled forward. However, it seems that the Avalanche won’t deal him while he’s still in the program.

Staying the Course

TSN’s Chris Johnston spoke about the Avalanche what they may do with Nichushkin. Johnston mentioned that Colorado and General Manager Chris MacFarland aren’t planning on dealing the forward during the window. The insider mentioned that the team is “hoping to help rehabilitate the player and the person.”

One can’t blame teams for trying to make a play for a talented scorer. However, the Russian still has six years and an annual cap hit of $6.125 million. Colorado would probably have to attach some sort of a sweetener to make a deal happen.

MacFarland said that Nichushkin is in Europe trying to recover. He’s also said that Nichushkin is a part of Colorado’s plan going forward.

Where Do the Avs Go From Here?

One can’t blame a segment of the fan base if they want to move on from the forward. It’s been twice that Nichushkin has had struggles during Stanley Cup Playoff runs. The Avalanche have a great team and lofty expectations. Colorado will usually have a chance with talented players like Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and others. This group will be a perennial contender with this core group of players.

Nichushkin was a large part of the team’s success during their most-recent championship. However, some of the fan base would like to deal Nichushkin and try to recover some assets for it. The ball is in Nichushkin’s court if he wants to be a part of what the Avalanche have created.

If MacFarland does decide to deal Nichushkin, he’ll be at a disadvantage in the trade. The cap hit would be a tough one to swallow for someone with questions surrounding them. We’ll see if the Avalanche will move on once Nichushkin is cleared to return from suspension.

Main photo by: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


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