Whenever a team like the Colorado Avalanche—a team that’s been on the verge of glory for a few years— wins the Stanley Cup, there are often stories to tell. Usually, these stories fall into certain camps.
Young, great players are getting what will probably be the first of many flowers. There are established, consistent legends who have been waiting for their moment of hockey pleasure for years. And then there are talented people who have been unfairly maligned by people throughout their careers.
In the last case, he is Nazem Qadri of Colorado. It was a challenging post season for the 31-year-old center, on top of an already challenging career before he eventually hoisted the Stanley Cup.
Qadri got into this first notably with Jordan Binnington, who threw a water bottle to the front during the second round of the playoffs. Qadri then inappropriately angered the St. Louis Blues, who had responded well to him.
Later, in the final of the Western Conference, Qadri was injured by a dangerous blow from Evander Kane. Qadri returned for the final three games of the Stanley Cup Final, where he played a hero for the AVS in Game 4 with a winning goal in overtime.
With all that chaos behind him, Qadri had some strong ideas for any of his critics as he sat on top of the NHL’s mountain for the first time.
“For those who thought I was a liability in the playoffs, you can kiss (without) me,” Qadri said during an interview.