Stanley Cup 2022: Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri fires back at critics following title

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Colorado Avalanche star Nazem Kadri made a big difference to the team’s pursuit of a third Stanley Cup championship, clinching his first title on Sunday.

Kadri returned to the ice during the series against the Tampa Bay Lightning after missing 18 days from an injury he sustained in the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers. He delivered the Game 4 game winner to give Colorado a 3-1 lead in the series.

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Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, #91, hoists the Stanley Cup during game six of the NHL Hockey Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche at Amalie Arena on June 26, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
(Andrew Bershaw/Icon_Sportswire)

On Sunday he was able to skate with Lord Stanley’s Cup over his head. He had a message for his critics after the celebration in an interview with Hockey Night in Canada.

“For everyone who thought I was a liability in the playoffs, kiss me,” Kadri said of The Toronto Star.

He added, “It’s what I’ve worked for pretty much my whole life, so to be in this position…means the world to me. You’ve worked your whole life for it and now it’s here, so it’s an amazing feeling. “

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, #91, hoists the Stanley Cup during game six of the NHL Hockey Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche at Amalie Arena on June 26, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, #91, hoists the Stanley Cup during game six of the NHL Hockey Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche at Amalie Arena on June 26, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
(Andrew Bershaw/Icon_Sportswire)

STANLEY CUP 2022: AVALANCHE HOLD OFF LIGHTNING IN GAME 6 FOR 3RD TITLE

The Avalanche acquired Kadri in a 2019 trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs and has been a key part of Colorado’s success over the past two seasons.

In 2020-21, Kadri was suspended for eight games for hitting St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk. He would not return for the playoffs as the Avalanche were eliminated.

He then came under fire for a collision with Blues goalie Jordan Binnington in that year’s playoffs. Colorado would win the series before being injured in a hit by Oilers star Evander Kane.

Fans react after a goal by Colorado Avalanche's Nazem Kadri during the second period in Game 4 of a second round NHL Hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the St. Louis Blues.

Fans react after a goal by Colorado Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri during the second period in Game 4 of a second round NHL Hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the St. Louis Blues.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson))

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After thumb surgery, Kadri played a big part in the team’s Stanley Cup title.

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