Avalanche’s Nichushkin shares jarring photo of busted foot

Some NHL players will do anything to win the Stanley Cup.

Count Valeri Nichushkin in that group as the Colorado Avalanche winger played through a foot injury in his team’s series win over the Tampa Bay Lighting on Sunday. Based on the photo he shared on his Instagram page, he was in serious pain.

According to Nichushkin’s Peter Baugh, it was not possible to put his skates on without medical assistance the athlete. Nichushkin was not a full participant in Colorado’s Morning Skate prior to Game 6, leading to questions regarding his availability for the competition. He eventually decided to get over the discomfort and recorded almost 23 minutes of ice time.

The 27-year-old was instrumental in the Avalanche’s playoff success, scoring nine goals and 15 points in 20 games. He contributed four goals and two assists in the last series against the Lightning and was viewed by some as a dark horse Conn Smythe contender.

While he certainly enjoyed the celebrations into the wee hours of Monday – and has yet to attend a championship parade on Thursday – Nichushkin won’t be able to bring the Stanley Cup home to Russia this summer. Due to the war in Ukraine, the NHL decided to prevent the trophy from visiting both Russia and Belarus for the foreseeable future.

Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin has endured much pain to achieve Stanley Cup glory.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin has endured much pain to achieve Stanley Cup glory. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Nichushkin wasn’t the only notable Avalanche player to pick up an injury in the Stanley Cup Finals. Before telling his haters to “kiss my A—,” forward Nazem Kadri admitted he wasn’t able to practice his own due to the thumb injury he sustained in the Western Conference final game against the Edmonton Oilers to tie skates.

The taste of champagne is sure to numb even the sharpest of aches and pains, especially when you’re drinking from the greatest sports trophy.

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