Colorado Avalanche: 5 Interesting and Fun Facts about Nazem Kadri

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 25: Nazem Kadri speaks to the media in the locker room. The Toronto Maple Leafs had their final interviews and locker clean out day on Thursday following their loss to the Boston Bruins. Players came out to speak to the media as did the GM and Head coach. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 25: Nazem Kadri speaks to the media in the locker room. The Toronto Maple Leafs had their final interviews and locker clean out day on Thursday following their loss to the Boston Bruins. Players came out to speak to the media as did the GM and Head coach. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche acquired a few players this summer. Nazem Kadri is one who’s expected to have a big impact on the team.

The Colorado Avalanche announced they were done picking up free agents during Free Agency Frenzy… then promptly pulled the trigger on a big trade. They sent longtime offensive defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Alexander Kerfoot to Toronto for Nazem Kadri and Calle Rosen. The two teams also exchanged picks for next year.

It was tough saying goodbye to our guys, especially Tyson Barrie. I don’t know who I’m going to razz on so regularly. However, it seems Colorado got at least one very good player back — and that player is Nazem Kadri.

We already know he’s expected to center that second line and hopefully augment our secondary scoring. The 28-year-old center is also expected to add some grit without getting in trouble — he’s gotten suspended a few times for going too far.

Kadri has three years left on his contract, so he does have some time to make his mark on the team. But let’s get to know the player a little better with some fun and/or interesting facts about one of our newest Avs players.

1. Kadri Turned Down a Trade to Calgary

Nazem Kadri’s contract includes a 10-team no-trade clause. So, when asked, he submits a list of 10 teams to which he cannot be traded. Well, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a deal with the Calgary Flames to trade him there, and he exercised that no-trade clause to block it.

Kadri said he didn’t feel any disrespect toward Calgary or the organization. Rather, he was hoping that in blocking that trade, he’d get to return to the Leafs organization. That must have been his heart talking, a heart that didn’t realize yet his draft team didn’t want him anymore. Because anyone who’s thinking clearly is going to allow a trade out of a team that wants to trade him.

Anyway, the Colorado Avalanche weren’t on the no-trade list, so the Leafs made the deal to send him here.  Naturally, when the trade went through, he said all the right things:

"“I’m just happy to be moving to a great city with a great team, a great group of guys. I’ve talked to everybody in the (Colorado) organization and they’re ecstatic to have me so it’s nice to be wanted.”"

He also states that he intends to go into next season with a chip on his shoulder — all players want to show the team that traded them what they’re missing. Even Erik Johnson expressed that back in the beginning when St. Louis first traded him here.

And Nazem seems to be making an effort to take an interest in the team:

I don’t agree with his opinion here, but I’m in the minority. I just think it’s cool he’s trying to assimilate.

2. Kadri is Muslim

Nazem’s grandfather, after whom the forward is named, moved to Canada from a small town in Lebanon called Kfar Danis. According to Al Jazeera, the elder Nazem moved his wife and seven children in the 1960s to escape the upheaval that was overtaking Lebanon at the time.

When the Leafs drafted Nazem, he was the first-ever player of Middle Eastern descent the team had drafted. There are a few players in the NHL now of such descent.

Samir and Sue Kadri are Nazem’s parents, and they raised him Muslim. When he was in high school, Kadri was a member of the school’s Muslim Student Association. (You might remember that Nail Yakupov also followed the Muslim faith, but he did so as an ethnic Volga Tatar.)

I’m not sure if Kadri is still practicing. However, Denver has a very large Muslim community — one of the biggest in the U.S. — so that might be comfortable for him.

3. Kadri Lived with a Police Offier as a Rookie

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According to an article in The Athletic, when Nazem Kadri transitioned into pro, he needed to live with a billet family. At the time, he was just 20 years old, and he was known as a kid who had a lot of swagger — at times, too much swagger.

Some of the mistakes Kadri made as a youngster were a little asinine, nothing dangerous. He parked in the fire lane one time, and the team played hardball and told him he had to take the farthest spot from the practice facility. He also parked in a handicap spot another time, got a $400 ticket… and tweeted about it. He got another, ah, butt-chewing after that incident, too.

The team didn’t think he was going to turn to the bad, but they wanted to make sure he had some good influences in his life. So, they set him up with a police officer’s family.

Now, I don’t know why they didn’t follow the usual convention of setting a rookie up with an older player, as with Cale Makar and the Calverts. Maybe because Kadri was going to be bouncing between the Marlies and Maple Leafs.

4. Kadri has a Cat Named Jazzy

You always see players and their dogs (or horses in Erik Johnson’s case), and I’m here for all pet content. However, I’m a cat lover, and I enjoy seeing when players have cats.

Thus far, the Colorado Avalanche family has been markedly devoid of felines — or, if players have such pets, we don’t know about them. The family has now increased by three — Joonas Donskoi’s two and Nazem Kadri’s one.

Kadri’s cat has an adorable name — Jazzy Kadri. And she even has her own Instragram:

The Kadris adopted Jazzy, a gray tuxedo, in 2015.

Apparently she likes to watch her dad play hockey:

Ok, I could fill up this whole past with Jazzy Kadri, but I’ll limit myself to just one more:

Any man who likes cats is good in my book.

5. Kadri and his Wife Ashley Just Had a Baby

I don’t normally make such announcements — I’m not Tyson Jost — but the couple announced on Instagram that they have a new child. Or, rather, Jazzy Kadri announced that she has a new human sibling:

That picture is about as cute as can be. I mean, clearly Ashley got glammed up for the photo, but it’s still adorable. And so much hair on the baby!

But, to be honest, Jazzy’s attention to mom and human sibling are what make the portrait.

Side fact: Ashley apparently owns a custom jewelry business called Kadri & Co that specializes in engagement rings. The business is by appointment only in Toronto and LA — but I’m guessing Denverites will soon be able to get in on that action soon.

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We’ve got a few weeks left until we see Nazem Kadri in action here in Denver. He wore the number 43 in Toronto, which is also available here. Anyway, I can’t wait to see Nazem bring his brand of hockey to the Colorado Avalanche.