August 17, 2022

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The Colorado Avalanche signed pending unrestricted free agent Valeri Nichushkin to an eight-year extension, the...

The Colorado Avalanche signed pending unrestricted free agent Valeri Nichushkin to an eight-year extension, the membership introduced Monday.

The contract is value $49 million whole with an annual common worth of $6.1 million, sources informed ESPN, confirming an preliminary report by The Athletic.

Nichushkin simply had the very best common season of his profession, posting 25 targets and 52 factors in 62 video games. The 27-year-old was then instrumental in serving to the Avalanche safe their first Stanley Cup championship since 2001, including 9 targets and 15 factors in 20 video games. Nichushkin additionally performed by means of a ugly foot harm in Colorado’s Cup-clinching Recreation 6 that he suffered in Recreation 5 in opposition to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Colorado’s funding in Nichushkin comes just a few years after the winger fell out of the NHL completely. Nichushkin was chosen tenth general by the Dallas Stars within the 2013 NHL draft and had a profitable rookie marketing campaign in 2013-14 with 14 targets and 34 factors in 79 video games.

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Nichushkin was affected by accidents in his sophomore season, and his efficiency suffered over the following two seasons. Forward of the 2016-17 season, Nichushkin left the league completely to affix the KHL’s CSKA Moscow.

After two years abroad, Nichushkin returned to the Stars for the 2018-19 season and produced simply 10 assists in 57 video games. Dallas subsequently positioned Nichushkin on unconditional waivers and purchased out the ultimate season of his deal.

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That’s when Colorado stepped in. The Avalanche took an opportunity on Nichushkin and signed him to a one-year, $850,000 contract in August 2019. It was the right partnership of crew and participant, one thing Colorado coach Jared Bednar touched on usually as Nichushkin emerged throughout the Avalanche’s Cup run.

“We introduced him in, and his confidence was down,” Bednar mentioned. “It’s constructed up through the years, and he’s [become] such an enormous a part of our crew. The issues he does don’t go unnoticed in our locker room and with all the opposite guys. They know the position he can play in our success. It’s the system that we play, and what we kind of demand of our gamers on the defensive aspect of it [that’s] an enormous power of Val’s. He’s a giant, lengthy, sturdy man that may skate.”

Nichushkin’s long-term deal might additionally sign that Colorado’s different main free agent — middle Nazem Kadri — gained’t be again. Kadri had a profession season as properly (87 factors in 71 video games) and can be an unrestricted free agent on July 13. He’s anticipated to have a number of groups fascinated with his providers, and the 31-year-old ought to command a significant elevate over his present wage of $4.5 million per season.

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