NHL Hockey – Calgary Flames
2022 Stanley Cup Champion (Colorado Avalanche)
2023, 2022, NHL All-Star
First Muslim player to win the Stanley Cup
Awarded Key to the City of London
Hockey Diversity Alliance, Founding Board Member
Social Followers: Instagram, 244,000; Twitter, 147,500
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Hometown: London, Ontario
On a day filled with pride, joy, and inspiration, Nazem Kadri brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown to celebrate with his community.
It was a dream come true for the 31-year old who had just won the title with the Colorado Avalanche in 2022.
“That’s the goal, to inspire and motivate the youth. This young generation is looking for role models so I do the best I can and I’m just happy I get to share it with everybody,” he said.
“I didn’t expect this kind of turnout. I’m very grateful for all the supporters. To start at the London Muslim Mosque and finish here on such a beautiful a day, it’s just the cherry on top.”
Kadri began at the mosque, he said, because “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."
Hundreds of people, many in Kadri Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys and t-shirts, gathered shortly before noon at the mosque alongside Kadri’s family and loved ones.
He was welcomed by a loud ovation.
Munir El-Kassem, the religious director at the Islamic Centre in London, and Faisal Joseph, a lawyer, activist and long-time senior member of the community, addressed the crowd, sharing stories of Kadri’s character and what he’s meant to the community, especially the Muslims of London.
Mayor Ed Holder also spoke to the crowd, declaring Kadri as “the greatest Londoner.”
After Kadri paused to autograph t-shirts, jerseys and pictures, the celebration moved to Victoria Park, on the Kiwanis Memorial Bandshell stage. A number of Lebanon flags — the country Kadri’s family is from — were held high, along with a couple of Canadian flags.
Kadri’s message of hope hit home with the Muslim youth in attendance.
“I think it’s really an amazing experience for the Muslim community and it’s really inspiring for us,” said 15-year-old Zayan Khan. “If he can win the Stanley Cup as a Muslim, he inspires more Muslim people to achieve their dreams.”
Now with the Calgary Flames, Nazem will always have his hometown and Canada's entire Muslim community behind him.