The Colorado Avalanche are already one of the best teams in the NHL and they will be getting a massive boost shortly.

Valeri Nichushkin, who was in the league's Player Assistance Program, has been cleared to return to practice. Via Frank Seravalli:

“NHL says Avs Valeri Nichushkin has cleared the Player Assistance program and is eligible to return to practice. Big news for Colorado.”

While he's not allowed to play in a game yet, it's still great news for the Avalanche. Nichushkin is a key offensive piece for them and had 22 goals and 20 assists in 40 games played, serving as one of the team's most consistent contributors. He initially went into the Player Assistance Program last month after an incident in the 2023 playoffs where a woman was found unconscious in his Seattle hotel room during Colorado's series with the Kraken.

On January 15th, Valeri Nichushkin said this about going into the assistance program:

“I have made the decision to seek help and enter the Player's Assistance Program,” Nichushkin said in a statement at the time. “My goal is to address my issues and prevent any negative outcomes once and for all. I want to thank my wife and family, the Avalanche organization, and all of our fans for their understanding and support. I will do everything I can to get back on the ice and join my teammates as soon as possible.”

The Avalanche are third in the Central Division with a 35-19-5 record and will definitely benefit from Nichushkin's return when he plays again.