Nazem Kadri would be the first Muslim hockey player to bring the Stanley Cup to the mosque

When the Colorado Avalanche eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning last June, Nazem Kadri became Stanley Cup champion for the first time. He also became the first Muslim to win hockey’s biggest prize.

On Saturday, Kadri had his day with the Cup and made even more history with it. The star center took the trophy to the London Muslim Mosque in his hometown of London, Ontario.

It is believed to be the first time the cup has been in a mosque.

“I am honored to be the first Muslim to bring the Stanley Cup to the mosque,” ​​Kadri said. “It’s part of my journey, it’s part of my roots, it’s part of who I am. For all these people, I know they are on my side, it just goes to show that they came here for me – just so 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 breakthrough playoff game saw him score a hat trick against the St. Louis Blues days later subject to racist attacks and threats because of to his involvement in a play that injured Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.

“For those who hate it, [game] is for them,” Kadri said after the game. “I guess I needed fuel. I was quite upset the last few days.

Joining the 2022 Cup champion in the celebrations at the mosque were his wife Ashley, his 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 father onto the ice after the win so he could lift the trophy himself. At Saturday’s parade, Sam spoke about what his son had to do to get to where he is today.

“I could say it’s nice, but it’s not like revenge or anything like that, to be honest with you I don’t think it’s like that,” Sam said. says TSN. “I think it’s really amazing to be able to experience that, especially when you’re going through the trials and tribulations of racing.

“I felt it myself immigrating from Lebanon in the 60s and going through the school system here and dealing with this stuff. I know my son took care of it, but I feel like there’s more of a connection, you know, where people will realize, ‘Hey, you know, maybe they don’t are really no different.’ This kind of helps in this case. We are blessed for this.

Nazem will now face his next test in Calgary as the 31-year-old signed a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Flames last week. Kadri ended his speech at Saturday’s parade with a nod to the future.

“Seeing this result, seeing everyone coming here and supporting me inspires and motivates me even more,” Kadri said. “So we’re going to try and get this thing back and I’m going to Calgary to do the job.”

Main photo via @SNChrisSimpson

Catherine J. Martinez