Avs quiet about Nichushkin's absence after police report

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Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin (13) and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev celebrate the team's 3-2 win against the Seattle Kraken in Game 2 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Thursday, April 20, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

SEATTLE – The Colorado Avalanche did not comment Friday on either the status of forward Valeri Nichushkin, who has been away from the team for a few days, or on a police report about an incident at the team hotel in Seattle last weekend.

Colorado coach Jared Bednar again said Friday that Nichushkin is away from the team for personal reasons. Asked later if Nichushkin was not with the Avs because of a violation of team rules, Bednar again reiterated the personal reasons.

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“It’s not a professional decision. It’s a personal decision why he’s not here,” Bednar said before the Avalanche faced the Kraken in Game 6 of their first-round series, which Seattle leads 3-2.

“Next one,” Avs forward Mikko Rantanen said when asked about Nichushkin.

A message sent to agents representing Nichushkin seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Nichushkin has not played since Game 2, on April 20, when he scored a goal in Colorado’s 3-2 victory. Bednar announced last Saturday that Nichushkin didn’t participate in morning skate before Game 3 due to a maintenance day. After the game, Bednar said Nichuskin would be away from the team for personal reasons.

Officers responded to a crisis call at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle at 3:44 p.m. PDT on the afternoon of Game 3, according to a report from the Seattle Police Department obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

A 28-year-old woman was in an ambulance when officers arrived, and medics were told to speak with Avalanche team physician Dr. Bradley Changstrom to gather more details.

According to the report, Changstrom told officers that team employees found the woman when they were checking in on Nichushkin. Changstrom told officers the woman appeared to be heavily intoxicated, was too intoxicated to have left the hotel “in a ride share or cab service,” and requested EMS assistance.

Changstrom said the woman hit him but he did not want to press charges, the report said.

When approached in the ambulance by officers, the woman stated she was from Russia but born in Ukraine. She was transported to Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, according to the report.

Nichushkin, who is from Chelyabinsk, Russia, is in his fourth season with the Avalanche and eighth season in the NHL. ___

AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno and AP Sports Writer Pat Graham contributed to this report.

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