Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri has been public enemy number one in St. Louis ever since he served an eight-game suspension for knocking out Blues defenceman Justin Faulk in last year’s first-round playoff series.
In Saturday's 5-2 Avalanche victory, Kadri’s collision with Blues blueliner Calle Rosen ended with him on top of St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington, who left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury and never returned. On Sunday, the team confirmed that Binnington was out for the remainder of the series against Colorado.
Kadri, who said the collision was just incidental contact as he was going for a loose puck, has dealt with hateful attacks since the play. Former NHL forward Akim Aliu, a member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, revealed that Kadri, also a representative of the association, has been the victim of racial slurs and threats since he collided with Binnington. Police had to be called to monitor the situation.
“About his inadvertent collision with Binnington. Nazem has been subject to so many racist attacks and threats since last night that police had to be brought in," Aliu wrote on social media. "Racist attacks like this have no place in hockey and should be investigated and reported on.”
Kadri plays with an edge, which has often gotten him into hot water. However, it was Binnington who allegedly threw oil on the fire when it was stated that he might have pitched a water bottle in Kadri’s direction while the Avalanche star was doing an on-camera postgame interview.
Kadri was talking about the collision when he stopped to do a double-take, then suggested that the goalie may have thrown a projectile at him.
“Not sure if he just threw a water bottle at me or not,” Kadri said. “But, I mean, not much I can do, man … I’m just going for the loose puck.”
The NHL is looking into the alleged bottle-throwing incident, according to Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli.
Kadri has posted two goals and six points in seven playoff games this spring after leading the Avalanche with 59 assists in the regular season and adding 28 goals.
The series resumes with Game 4 Monday night in St. Louis, without Binnington. Hopefully the situation is under control for Kadri's safety.
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