The Stanley Cup was just in a mosque for likely the first time in history. Here’s why
NHL player Nazem Kadri is thought to be the first Muslim player to be a Stanley Cup champion.
NHL player Nazem Kadri made history in June when he became the first Muslim hockey player to win the Stanley Cup. On Saturday, he furthered his distinctive legacy by bringing the cup with him to his family’s mosque in London, Ontario.
Saturday’s visit “is believed to be the first time in history that the Cup has entered a mosque,” tweeted reporter Amrit Gill.
She and other reporters highlighted the community’s excitement for the visit and for the parade that followed. Kadri, who won the championship with the Colorado Avalanche but is now on the Calgary Flames, gets to spend a whole day with the Stanley Cup, as does every member of his former team.
Players’ days with the cup often involve unique adventures. For example, in 2010, Chicago Blackhawks team member Patrick Kane, a Buffalo native, brought the Stanley Cup to the base of Niagara Falls, according to CBS News.
That article, from 2015, also noted that the hockey trophy had previously been used as a baptismal font. The cup once again served in that significant role this summer, when Jack Johnson had his kids baptized during his day with the Stanley Cup.
A tidbit from Jack Johnson’s time with the #StanleyCup: His three kids’ baptism was planned before the playoffs, and it turned out the date was Johnson’s day with the Cup. So the kids got baptized in the Cup itself.— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) July 24, 2022
Photos courtesy of Jack’s wife, Kelly Johnson: pic.twitter.com/n2Bb3PE9N9
In addition to the mosque visit, Kadri’s day included a rally with his fellow Londoners and a public event at which he was presented a key to the city.
“I know a lot of people here and they’ve been cheering me on since the first day I put on skates,” Kadri said Saturday, according to a video of his remarks shared on Twitter.
Part of Kadri’s fame comes from his religious identity. Young Muslim hockey players are looking up to the NHL star as they chase their own sports dreams, as the CBC reported ahead of Kadri’s day with the cup.
“I think that’s one of the things that Nazem’s been able to do. For anyone who isn’t Muslim or brown, I think it shows that we’re normal, we’re just like you. We can all get along and enjoy this great sport,” said the NHL player’s dad, Samir Kadri, to the CBC.