Ex-Leaf Nazem Kadri Is The First Muslim Stanley Cup Champ & He Shaded His Old Team So Hard
"💋 my 🍑"
Colorado Avalanche star Nazem Kadri just became the first Muslim hockey player to win a Stanley Cup, and the former Toronto Maple Leaf had some salty words for his doubters back in Canada.
Kadri's Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 to win the Cup in six games on Sunday, and Kadri used his post-game interview to tear into those who criticized him before his trade out of Toronto in 2019.
"For everyone who thought I was a liability in the playoffs, you can kiss my ass," Kadri said in the interview, which aired on live TV.
He then started laughing and skated away.
\u201c\u201cFor everyone that thought I was a liability in the playoffs you can kiss my ass.\u201d\n\nNazem Kadri says it all after hoisting the #StanleyCup \ud83d\ude02\u201d— Tim and Friends (@Tim and Friends) 1656299593
The London, Ontario native was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2009 and spent the first decade of his career with the team. But he got suspended in each of his last two playoff series with the Leafs, and they ended up trading him away to Colorado in 2019 after the second suspension.
Fast-forward three years and Kadri is a Stanley Cup champion, while his hometown team is once again dealing with a first-round exit from the playoffs.
\u201cLIFT THAT CUP, @43_Kadri! \ud83d\ude4c\n\n#StanleyCup | @Avalanche\u201d— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) 1656299436
Kadri's parents were in the arena in Tampa for his win, and they had a touching moment with him on the ice after he did his lap with the Stanley Cup.
And while he definitely relished his parting shot at the Leafs, Kadri also had some kind words for those who backed him.
"I feel very thankful and grateful, and I couldn't have done this without so many people," he told reporters later on Sunday, per Sportsnet. He said that many of his ex-Leafs teammates are still "lifelong friends," and he hopes they get their moment with the Cup one day, too.
Kadri also seemed pretty pumped to be the first Muslim to win a Stanley Cup — something that hasn't happened before in over a century of NHL.
"It means everything," said Kadri. "I never forget where I came from, never forget my roots."
His dad, Sam, was also thrilled about the moment.
"For us, we're Canadians at heart, first and foremost -- and we're proud to be Muslim Canadians," he told Sportsnet.
"And I think it's going do a lot for the younger generations. You know, hopefully we get that stigma of racism out of any sport, out of our culture, out of our society."
He added that he's also just excited to see his family name on the Stanley Cup thanks to his son, Nazem.
"I'm blessed," he said.