Valeri Nichushkin may be done in Colorado.
Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports  

Valeri Nichushkin may be done in Colorado.

Valeri Nichushkin's own teammates may not want him back in the locker room after yet another episode.

Jonathan Larivee

Valeri Nichushkin may have burned a bridge he cannot rebuild.

The talented Russian forward let his team down in a major way during their second round playoff series against the Dallas Stars when he earned himself a 6 month suspension with reports that the suspension came as a result of a failed drug test.

The Avalanche would of course subsequently be eliminated at the hands of the aforementioned Stars with many fans left to wonder how things could have been different if the Avalanche hadn't been missing one of their core forwards.

Unfortunately this isn't the first time that Nichushkin has let his team down in a similar fashion, and it may very well be that the teammates who have had to deal with his antics have now had enough.

"Does the team want to bring him back?" asked NHL insider Elliotte Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast. "And right now the feelings are very raw."

I can't even begin to imagine how frustrated players in the Avalanche locker room have to be with Nichushkin with him having seriously damaged their chances in the playoffs on two different occasions now. That is especially true when you think of players like Nathan MacKinnon, who by all accounts work extremely hard on their physical conditioning and health in order to maximize their chances of winning on the ice.

Unfortunately for the Avalanche it sounds like moving on from Nichushkin might be a little complicated.

"This is one where they don't have grounds to terminate his contract," revealed Friedman.

"You can't just unilaterally terminate his deal... grievances will force settlements."

Friedman believes this one could end with some type of settlement between player and team.

"At some point will there be a conversation between player and organization saying 'We would like to come to some kind of negotiated settlement so everyone can move on' but everyone has to agree with that and I don't think that's gonna happen in the short term," admitted Friedman.

I don't know how any of the players or personnel within the Avalanche organization feel, but I can't imagine a scenario where any of them would want Nichushkin back after two major fumbles during the most important time of the season, the Stanley Cup playoffs.