Valeri Nichushkin signs eight-year extension with Colorado

Valeri Nichushkin earned his way to a big payday with 15 points in 20 playoff games en route to the Stanley Cup. (Getty Images)
Valeri Nichushkin earned his way to a big payday with 15 points in 20 playoff games en route to the Stanley Cup. (Getty Images)

The Stanley Cup champions are holding on to one of their stars.

The Colorado Avalanche announced on Monday that it has re-signed forward Valeri Nichushkin to an eight-year contract extension.

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the deal is worth $49 million in total, for an average annual value of $6.125 million through 2029-30.

The contract includes a no-movement clause in the first three years, which converts to a 12-team no-trade clause over the final five years, per insider Chris Johnston.

Nichushkin broke out for the Avalanche this past season, recording a career-best 25 goals and 27 assists during the regular season. He kept up his impressive form in the playoffs, posting nine goals and six assists for 15 points in 20 games on the way to a Stanley Cup victory.

The 27-year-old wrapped up a two-year, $5 million contract this past season.

Selected 10th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by Dallas, Nichushkin spent the first four seasons of his career with the Stars before joining the Avalanche as a free agent back in August of 2019.

Nichushkin received votes for the Selke Trophy in each of the past three seasons, proof of his talent on both sides of the puck since joining Colorado. He took on consistent top-six responsibilities for the first time in his career with the Avalanche, averaging 19:02 per game, he who had never averaged above 15 minutes per night prior to his move to Denver.

The Avalanche also made significant moves in their front office on Monday, promoting former general manager Joe Sakic to president of hockey operations, with Chris MacFarland taking over as general manager.

Colorado has been active in the few weeks following their first championship since 2001. Russian goaltender Alexander Georgiev was acquired from the New York Rangers last Thursday for two third-round picks and a fifth-round pick. On Sunday, Georgiev and the Avs came to terms on a three-year, $10.2 million contract extension.

With free agency only two days away, the Avalanche will have some decisions to make when it comes to pending free agents Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky, two integral pieces to their championship run.

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