Colorado Avalanche star Nazem Kadri was subject to racist threats following his collision with St. Louis Blues Jordan Binnington in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. As a result of the collision — which the NHL did not suspend or fine Kadri for — Binnington was ruled out for the remainder of the series with a knee injury.
One game later, Kadri, who is only the fourth player of Lebanese descent to ever play in the NHL, was able to silence everyone as he recorded a hat trick in a 6-3 Avalanche victory.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with that a long time,” Kadri told the NHL on TNT crew following Game 4 of the online threats, many of which were race related. “That’s sad to say, but I’m getting good at putting in the rearview mirror. It’s a big deal. I try to act like it’s not. Just try to keep moving forward. I know those messages I got don’t reflect every single fan in St. Louis. But for those that hate, that one’s for them.”
There was an increased police presence at the Avalanche’s team hotel as they arrived to the Enterprise Center for Game 4 due to the threats that Kadri has received.
“I wasn’t that involved until the police were involved,” Kadri added. “I guess some people contacted them about some hateful messages. I was able to read those messages. They were very extreme. I just tried to shake it off. [The police] did a good job assuring me and making me feel safe.”
After the Avalanche and Blues exchanged goals in the first period of Monday’s contest, Kadri scored just 4:07 into the second period off an assist from fellow forward Valeri Nichuskin. Just over three minutes later, Kadri found the back of the net once again for a goal that gave Colorado a 4-1 lead.
The Blues would add a pair of goals late in the second period to make it a 4-3 game entering the final 20 minutes. Kadri then rose to the occasion one more time. He happened to be at the right place at the right time and rifled a shot from the face-off circle past goaltender Ville Husso, who has replaced Binnington.
“I wanted to come out and put a mark on this game, especially with everything that happened. To do it on the road, it was pure,” Kadri added.