A woman was found so intoxicated in Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin’s hotel room Saturday that a team of doctors called for an ambulance to take her to a hospital, according to a Seattle Police Department report obtained Thursday by The Denver Post.
Nichushkin did not play that night in Game 3 of the Avalanche’s first-round playoff series against the Kraken — and hasn’t appeared with the team since then. When contacted by The Post late Thursday afternoon, a team spokesman declined to comment on whether or not Nichuskin’s absence was connected to the incident but did confirm he is currently not with the team.
Team employees found the woman when they went to check on Nichushkin in his room at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seattle where the Avs were staying, according to the incident report. The team doctor felt she was too intoxicated to safely leave the hotel in a cab, and called 911 at about 3:20 pm local time, the report states.
The 28-year-old woman, who The Post is not identifying, told authorities she was from Russia and was born in Ukraine, and said “she should never have come to the United States and that some guy took her passport and that he was a bad person,” according to the incident report. She was taken to a hospital after officers found she was too intoxicated to care for herself.
The incident report notes that the team doctor was not aware of any family connections between Nichushkin and the woman. All three are listed as “involved” parties, but Nichushkin is never quoted in the report.
It was not immediately clear what substance the woman had used. Seattle Fire Department spokesperson David Cuerpo said the fire department considers an intoxicated person to be suspected of alcohol intoxication or drug abuse. Responders do not perform testing for whatever substance a subject may be on in the field — all testing is done at the hospital.
Seattle Police Department spokesperson Judinna Gulpan said there was no criminal investigation stemming from the incident. The police report notes that the woman hit the team doctor, but she did not want to press charges. A lieutenant with the Denver Police Department who was one of two officers traveling with the team told Seattle police that there were “no reports of any criminal interactions,” according to the incident report.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar has said Nichushkin’s ongoing absence from the team is not disciplinary and not related to legal issues. When contacted by The Post, a representative for Nichushkin reiterated that the team had made it clear his client was not with the team for personal reasons.
Bednar has said the team has no timeline for Nichushkin’s return but said the team has been in contact with him.
Nichushkin had scored the tying goal two days earlier in Colorado’s 3-2 comeback win to even the series in Denver. The winger is on the first season of an eight-year contract that runs through 2029-30, with an average annual value of $6.125 million. He scored 17 goals and 47 points in 53 games this past season, missing stretches due to an off-and-on ankle surgery. Nichushkin underwent surgery for his ankle in November 2022.
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