SEATTLE — The Colorado Avalanche team physician identified a woman who was severely intoxicated when examining Valerie Nichochkin before Game 3 of Colorado’s first-round series with Seattle, according to the Seattle Police Department’s Behavioral Crisis Report obtained by the athlete.
Nichushkin’s agent, Mark Gandler, denied his client’s involvement in a text message to the athlete.
“No one was found in Val’s room,” he said. “These events have nothing to do with Val.”
Nichushkin has been away from the Avalanche since Saturday for what the team called “personal reasons.” Gandler echoed that statement and declined to answer whether it was Nishushkin or the Avalanche that was his decision to walk away from the team.
Nichushkin is the only Avalanche player mentioned by name in the report. The officer wrote that he did not know of any family connections between Neshushkin and the woman. He listed their relationship status as unknown.
According to the report: At 3:20 p.m. PST on Saturday, a call for help was called to 99 Union Street, where the Avalanche was staying at the Four Seasons Hotel. Two Seattle police officers arrived at the hotel in response to a crisis call at 3:44 p.m
The Avalanche team doctor told authorities he had located the woman, and who the athlete He chooses not to be identified, when checking Nichushkin before the match. The doctor told officers he believed the woman was too drunk to leave the hotel for a ride or taxi service, so he called 9-1-1. He said the woman hit him but he did not want to press charges.
A Denver police lieutenant traveling with the team told Seattle police that “there were no reports of any criminal interactions beyond (the woman’s) being severely intoxicated.”
An ambulance took the 28-year-old woman to Harborview Medical Center. She was in stable condition, according to information obtained via a public records request to the Fire Department. Inside the ambulance, the woman told a Seattle police officer that “someone took her passport and that was a bad person.” She did not go into details. She said she was from Russia but was born in Ukraine.
On the morning of the third game, Bednar said Nishushkin was taking a maintenance day.
“Here’s the information I had at the time: It was a maintenance day,” Bednar said the next day. Then he left for personal reasons. If he’s around and he can be around, he’ll be available to play.”
When asked about the police report at his pre-game press conference on Friday, Jared Bednar said he could not comment because “it was for personal reasons.” He declined to comment on whether Nichushkin or the team made the decision to sideline him, whether Nichushkin violated team rules or what his position was. He repeated in a previous statement that it is not a disciplinary matter. Asked why it is non-disciplinary, Bednar said, “Because it is personal.”
Asked if the situation had distracted the team in the past few days, Colorado defender Jack Johnson said no.
He said, “I wouldn’t say it’s a distraction.” “He (is) just a guy we’d like to have in our squad.”
Nichushkin was in the lineup for the first two games of the series, which Colorado trailed 3-2 heading into game six on Friday.
Bednar said the team is in contact with Nichushkin. There is no active police investigation into Neshushkin regarding the accident.
An Avalanche spokesperson did not offer comment on the incident report and said Hockey Operations President Joe Sakic and General Manager Chris McFarland will not address the media Friday morning. The NHL Players Association has no comment at this time.
Nishushkin, 28, is in the first year of an eight-year contract worth $6.125 million per year.
(Photo: Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today)
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