Nazem Kadri in a NHL on TNT interview.

The Colorado AvalancheSt. Louis Blues second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs series has seen a lot of controversy so far, and much of it has been centered on Avalanche center Nazem Kadri. In Colorado’s 5-2 victory in Game 3 Saturday, Kadri collided with St. Louis defenseman Calle Rosen and then goaltender Jordan Binnington. Binnington left the game with a lower-body injury and was later ruled out for the playoffs.

After that game, a water bottle was thrown at Kadri during his post-game interview on TNT. That also led to a lot of threats towards Kadri on social media, many of them racist, and the Avalanche and the NHL began working with St. Louis law enforcement around those threats. Kadri played in Game 4 Monday, scoring three goals in Colorado’s 6-3 win (and narrowly dodging an elbow from the Blues’ David Perron while he celebrated the second), but the discussion around the threats he’s received has continued to percolate.

The discussion particularly took off Tuesday when Kadri’s wife Ashley Cave shared screenshots of some of the abuse their family has taken through an Instagram story on their account for their cat. Mike Stephens of The Hockey News then shared that on Twitter (further details of the messages to Kadri and Cave can be seen by expanding the image in Stephens’ tweet, but that comes with a significant language warning):

But, in the wake of those messages being shared on Twitter, many hockey media members and fans have chimed in to denounce those attacks.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims also weighed in:

But something that’s also drawing a lot of attention here is how the Blues, and head coach Craig Berube in particular, refused to publicly condemn the attacks ahead of Game 4 even after the revelation the NHL and law enforcement were investigating them, and how Blues’ players like Perron then took shots at Kadri during that game.

But Kadri himself had thoughtful comments on this in a post-game interview on TNT Monday (starting around 0:37):

“Unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with that for a long time. It’s sad to say, but it’s just the fact of the matter. I’m just putting it in the rear-view mirror. It’s a big deal, but I try to act like it’s not and just keep moving forward. That’s what I do. And I know that, some of the messages I got, doesn’t reflect every single fan in St. Louis, but for those that hate, that was for them.”

 

We’ll see if the Blues speak out against these attacks in the wake of this criticism, and in the wake of the publishing of some of these specific messages. And we’ll see what happens in Game 5 Wednesday. The Avalanche lead the series 3-1.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.