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Valeri Nichushkin: Avalance not interested in trading him
Credit: Getty Images

As you know, the Colorado Avalanche are faced with two unknowns heading into next season: will Gabriel Landeskog be able to play… and which Valeri Nichushkin will show up in Denver in November?

Because yes, the Russian’s case will continue to attract attention.

He’s suspended until November because of his third stint in the player assistance program, so he won’t be able to start the season on time, but we’re wondering which Valeri will be in uniform when he’s able to return.

The man who earns $6.125m per campaign for another six years can’t have his contract torn up by his bosses. He’ll have to be back with his teammates in due course.

And I wonder how they’ll welcome him back.

You’ll tell me that there’s always the option of trading him, but right now, the word on the street is that the bosses in Denver don’t really intend to trade him – even if they could.

Chris Johnston reports.

As I see it, Colorado doesn’t want to trade its player because it would have to pay the other team to take him. And when I say pay, I mean with an asset… and possibly by withholding salary.

You’d think that no matter how angry Colorado is about the player’s actions, giving away a draft pick only to see him take his big talent elsewhere isn’t something Joe Sakic and his team are thrilled about.

After all, the Russian (who has a no-movement clause) has lost none of his talent.

At this point, I fully expect the Nichushkin file to be a major distraction for the Denver club. But then, nobody forced them to offer him an eight-year contract in 2022 either…

Overtime

– From four to three? That’s something.

– B+ for Habs free agent process. [NYT]

– Oh well.

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