When the Colorado Avalanche eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning this past June, Nazem Kadri became a Stanley Cup champion for the first time. He also became the first Muslim to win hockey’s grandest prize.
On Saturday, Kadri had his day with the Cup and made even more history with it. The star center brought the trophy to the London Muslim Mosque in his hometown of London in Ontario.
It is believed to be the first time the Cup has ever been in a mosque.
Nazem Kadri brings the Stanley Cup to the London Muslim Mosque.
— Amrit Gill (@AmritG) August 27, 2022
“I’m honored to be the first-ever Muslim to bring the Stanley Cup to the mosque,” Kadri said. “It’s part of my background, it’s part of my roots, it’s part of who I am. For all these people, I know they’re on my side, it just shows they came over here for me — just very grateful for them.”
Kadri was a massive contributor for the Avalanche in the 2021-22 season. He recorded a career-high 87 points (28g, 59a) in 71 regular-season games and added 15 more points (7g, 8a) in 16 playoff appearances.
Kadri’s breakout game in the postseason saw him score a hat trick against the St. Louis Blues just days after being subjected to racist attacks and threats due to his involvement in a play that injured Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.
“For those that hate, that [game] is for them,” Kadri said after the game. “I guess I needed some fuel. I was pretty upset from the last couple days.”
— Christine Simpson (@SNChrisSimpson) August 27, 2022
Joining the 2022 Cup champ in the celebrations at the mosque were his wife Ashley, parents Sam and Sue, and his grandparents Mariam and Charifie among other family members and friends.
Kadri has always shared a close relationship with his father Sam. One of the highlights of the Avs’ immediate celebration was Nazem bringing his dad onto the ice after the victory so that he could lift the trophy himself. At the parade on Saturday, Sam spoke about what his son has had to push through to get where he is today.
“I could say that it’s sweet, but it’s not like revenge or anything like that, to be honest with you, I don’t feel that that’s the way it is,” Sam told TSN. “I feel that it’s definitely unbelievable to be able to experience that, especially when you’re going through the trials and tribulation of race.
“I felt it myself immigrating from Lebanon back in the ’60s and going through the school system here and dealing with that type of stuff. I know my son has dealt with it, but I feel that there is more of a link, you know, where people will realize, ‘Hey, you know, maybe they’re really not any different.’ This kind of helps in that case. We’re blessed for that.”
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) June 27, 2022
Nazem will now face his next test in Calgary as the 31-year-old signed a seven-year, $49 million deal with the Flames last week. Kadri finished his speech at Saturday’s parade with a nod to the future.
“To see this outcome, to see everybody coming here and supporting me just inspires and motivates me even more,” Kadri said. “So, we’re going to try to run this thing back and I’m going to Calgary to get the job done.”
Headline photo via @SNChrisSimpson
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