Nazem Kadri, the Lebanese-Canadian hockey star, whose name very loosely translates as Sublime One Who Submits to the Will of Fate, is off to a superb start to the hockey season.
The first-round draft choice of the Tuque Souq's preferred hockey team, time-wasting wikipedia page, and joke butt--the Toronto Maple Leafs--is tearing up the ice down in London this OHL season, with 11 goals, 8 assists and 52 penalty minutes in just 19 games.
A whole whack of those stats came the other night in a 7-4 win over the Oshawa Generals, when Kadri racked up a Gordie Howe hat trick: a goal (and Kadri had 2 of those), an assist and a fight.
The fight came midway through the third period with the Knights well in control of the game. Oshawa forward Jeff Brown delivered a vicious back check to London's Jared Knight, attracting Kadri's attention.
In the replay, you can clearly see Brown, who's already been flagged for the penalty though the play has continued, bend down to see if Knight is okay. But Kadri flies over from the crease to knock Brown into the boards and instigate the fight with an uppercut. While it lasts only a few short moments, Brown delivers 4 quick blows to Kadri's face mask before the fight is broken up.
Apparently Nazem Kadri submits to the will of the penalty box very well; to the fate of his teammates being targets, not so well.
More recently, during an 8-2 thrashing of the Owen Sound Attack (though early in the game), Kadri drove Owen Sound winger Bobby Mignardi hard into the glass in the corner. Bruiser Michael McGurk followed Kadri to centre ice and started throwing punches, which Kadri happily reciprocated.
For Nazem Kadri, it was another Gordie Howe hat trick that night. When fate ordains that he finally put on a Leafs uniform in the NHL, the Tuque Souq votes they give him #9.*
* Yes, he played a few preseason games for the Leafs this year and they gave him the #43 sweater, not worn since Nathan Dempsey scored one whole goal in it during the 2000-2001 season. There's still time to switch him to #9. Sorry, Hagman.