The Colorado Avalanche find themselves in a do-or-die Game 6 on Friday night in a series they were heavily favored to win against the Seattle Kraken — and they remain without Valeri Nichushkin, who has been away from the team since an altercation with a woman in a Seattle hotel room over the weekend.
More details were revealed about the situation on Friday. A team physician reportedly located a woman who was heavily intoxicated when checking on Nichushkin prior to Game 3 of the Avalanche-Kraken series, according to a Seattle Police Department Behavioral Crisis Report.
However, the Russian's agent, Mark Gandler, denied that his client was involved in a text message sent to The Athletic.
“No one was found in Val's room,” he said, according to The Athletic's Peter Baugh. “These events have nothing to do with Val.”
Nichushkin has been away from the team since Saturday for what the team has called “personal reasons,” but it's not clear why he is still away as he is not considered a suspect in the investigation.
The officer who wrote the report mentioned the Russian forward by name, and said he didn't know of any family connections between Nichushkin and the woman, who said she was from Russia but born in Ukraine.
“An Avalanche team physician told authorities he located the woman…when checking on Nichushkin before the game,” wrote Baugh on Friday. “The physician told officers he believed the woman was too intoxicated to have left the hotel in a rideshare or cab service, so he called 9-1-1. He said the woman hit him but that he did not want to press charges.”
The 28-year-old woman was reportedly then taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in stable condition.
No other details have emerged from the situation, and Avalanche coach Jared Bednar confirmed that it's neither a matter of team discipline nor a legal issue, and there is no active police investigation.
With those details revealed, it's unclear why Valeri Nichushkin is still away from the Colorado Avalanche as they prepare for a pivotal Game 6 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, but more details figure to be revealed at the investigation's conclusion.