In an earlier post, Hockey Night in Morocco, I wrote about Muslim players in professional ice hockey, who symbolize for me how much the world has changed since I was young. One of those players I wrote about was Nazem Kadri, who at that time had played 10 years for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 2019, the Maple Leafs traded Kadri to the Colorado Avalanche, and, thus, when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup last spring, Kadri became the first Muslim player in National Hockey League history to win the trophy, the oldest in professional sports in North America. If this introduction makes Kadri’s membership on a championship team seem a bit lucky, any hockey fan will vouch for me when I say that Kadri is a top shelf player and he showed it by making his presence felt in the playoffs.
Traditionally, in the summer after the hockey season, every player on a Stanley Cup winning team brings the trophy to his home town for a day to show it off, and in Kadri’s case, the city was London, Ontario. The following photos, taken from the CBC evening news, The National, show Kadri bringing the trophy to his local mosque in London.
Should you care to learn more, the following links, one in English and the other in French, carry the full story:
And, yes, when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, I rooted for him in games against every team—except the Buffalo Sabres.
The world is certainly changing quickly, and, in many cases, not for the better, so it is with pleasure that I bring you this story of a son of immigrants who has succeeded in attaining the highest level of professional hockey, the Stanley Cup, and who was proud enough of his heritage and his community to take the trophy to his local mosque. If I were speaking Moroccan Arabic, I would surely end the last sentence in an appropriate religious expression!