Justin Cuthbert and Julian McKenzie support Nazem Kadri’s decision to clap back at those who considered him a “liability.”
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Among the players Joe Sakic’s brought in, Devon Teows, Valeri Nichushkin, Andre Burakovsky, Sam Girard, and also Nazem Kadri, if there was one moment from the post-game celebration, it was Nazem Kadri’s mic drop moment, with Elliot Friedman and David Amber. It was truly a Connor McDavid moment, where he started into a question being very nice, and thanking everyone who’s supported him. And instead of just throwing out pleasantries and taking the high road, he smiled, and he told anyone who thought he was a liability to kiss his ass. It was a spectacular moment in hockey media history.
It was perfectly executed on his behalf. He knew it was perfectly executed, by the smile he had on his face. He got me. Like, I thought, Oh, man, he’s just going to thank the Leafs right now. Like, he’s going to be very nice about this. And then he said that, sharp turns so abruptly. It was an awesome moment. And if you walk it like he did, you can talk it like Nazem Kadri did. So congratulations to him, and good on him for taking that moment to stunt on those who didn’t believe he could be in that position.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Talk your shit, Nazem Kadri. I love that moment. I love it when guys are able to dress down and just let people know how they really feel, especially when they’re in a moment where they win something, and it doesn’t really matter what they say. And for a guy like Nazem Kadri to go through the post-season that he did– we’re not even going to get into all the racist and Islamophobic comments he went through, the fact that he was able to stay on the ice and be a big player for the Avalanche throughout this postseason, just as people were wondering, hey, what are we going to get the quote, unquote “real” Nazem Kadri, where he takes a boneheaded penalty and gets himself suspended for how many games. People were waiting on that. I think people are genuinely waiting on that Nazem Kadri to appear. And he didn’t. All he did was, just come through in big moments, play through a thumb injury, which maybe could have taken him out for the rest of the series. But he found a way to come back in the latter stages of it, and score a big overtime goal to give his team.
I think if that play does not happen, this series is completely flipped on its head. You can make an argument, and it’s the most important moment of that series for the Colorado Avalanche. So I have no problem with Nazem Kadri stepping up and saying, hey, everybody who thought it was going to be a liability in the playoffs– and yeah, you can’t help but think of people in Toronto who were thinking the same thing. And maybe, people in the Leafs management have said, you know what, we have to get rid of him, because he’s been that way.
I have no problem with him going out and saying, hey, if you thought I was a liability, you can kiss my ass. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen post Stanley Cup victory. I love it. I enjoyed it. Everyone was going off on the Nikita Kucherov thing last year, where he was just doing the press conference. He’s shirtless, he’s got the beer. I’m willing to say, the Nazem Kadri thing is even better than that. Like, I get it, Kucherov he went off, he did his thing. We can get to Kucherov in a second, because I don’t think he handled that win very gracefully at all. But Nazem Kadri going out to say, kiss my ass, on national television, I love it. I love it.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Yeah, he savored every moment. It seemed like just talking to a couple of people that were on the ice watching the celebration. All eyes are on Nazem Kadri. His family– they really, really cherish that moment. And why wouldn’t they cherish that moment? It was well deserved. And maybe some people believed that it would never happen. Even though when he left the Maple Leafs, he ended up in the perfect spot.