Colorado Avalanche player involved in incident at Seattle hotel
Apr 27, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: 5:09 pm
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
An incident report from the Seattle Police Department is filling some of the gaps in the disappearance of Colorado Avalanche star Valeri Nichushkin Saturday afternoon.
The premier forward has missed three games in their Stanley Cup playoff series with the Seattle Kraken.
Seattle Police report involving Valeri Nichushkin leads to more questions
Team officials have not commented on his whereabouts after an incident took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seattle just hours before Saturday’s playoff game at Climate Pledge Arena.
The Avalanche had arrived the night before for a pair of playoff games Saturday and Monday night. Visiting hockey teams routinely stay at the Four Seasons when they are in town to play the Kraken.
According to Seattle Fire Department spokesperson David Cuerpo, a 911 call was placed from the hotel at 3:20 pm about a woman in “distress” less than four hours before the Avalanche was to faceoff with the Kraken.
Cuerpo says when medic crews arrived, they found a 28-year-old woman at the entrance to the hotel who was extremely combative and would not cooperate with paramedics.
The paramedics called for assistance from the Seattle Police Department (SPD), citing a possibility that she may need to be “involuntarily committed” at a local hospital because of her condition.
According to an incident report provided by Seattle Police, Officer Joshua Knight arrived at 3:44 p.m. The report says he found the woman in the back of an ambulance.
Officer Knight met with Avalanche team physician Bradley Changstrom, who told Knight that the woman, “was located by team employees when they were checking on Nichushkin,” according to the incident report.
It goes on to say that Changstrom “observed [the woman] in the room heavily intoxicated,” and he believed “she was too intoxicated to have left the hotel in a ride share or cab.”
Changstrom is the one who called 911.
The team physician says the woman “hit him but he did not want to be a victim of any assault.”
Officer Knight says he met with Lieutenant Todd Fuller from the Denver Police Department. He was part of two traveling police units accompanying the team.
Lt. Fuller stated that “there were no reports of any criminal interactions beyond [the woman] being heavily intoxicated” and “there were no family connections between Nichushkin and [the woman] that he knew of,” according to the incident report.
While Knight was inside the hotel speaking with Changstrom, the woman told another officer that she was from Russia and born in Ukraine, and that “he should never have come to the United States and that some guy took her passport, and he was a bad person.”
The report does not say who “he” is.
Officer Knight says that the woman was “gravely disabled” and so intoxicated that she was unable to care for herself out in public. SPD detained the woman because of her “assaultive behavior.”
She was later taken to Virginia Mason Medical Center because of her condition.
There is no mention in the report of any officer seeing Nichushkin in the room where Changstrom found the woman.
There is also no mention by SPD of Nichushkin’s whereabouts after the woman was discovered by Changstrom.
The woman has no criminal history in Washington courts.
We are still waiting to hear back from the hospital on the status of the woman.
The Avalanche have offered little explanation about Nichushkin, who signed an eight-year, $49 million deal last summer.
Unconfirmed reports say that Nichushkin was taken to Sea-Tac Airport Saturday afternoon. His whereabouts are still a mystery.
Meanwhile, without Nichushkin, the Avalanche have their backs against the wall, down 3-2 in their series with the Kraken. Game 6 is Friday night.
Seattle Kraken beat Avs 3-2, can clinch series at home in Game 6