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Blues coach Craig Berube says threats, slurs to Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri are 'in no way acceptable'

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

DENVER – Before he answered any hockey questions Wednesday following the Blues’ morning skate, coach Craig Berube wanted to set the record straight on his “no-comment” involving threats and racial slurs made against Colorado forward Nazem Kadri.

“I’m not on social media,” Berube said. “I was aware of a threat made to Nazem. Not the racist stuff. And in no way is it acceptable by the St. Louis Blues or anybody else for him to have to go through that.

“Being a Native American myself, I’ve heard it all. I’ve been around it. It’s not a good thing. So I just wanted to get that out there that there’s no room for it anywhere. And that’s it.”

Asked about the threats to Kadri on Monday prior to Game 4 of the playoff series with the Avalanche, Berube issued a “no comment” and was criticized by some for not saying something.

Kadri instigated a collision in Game 3 that resulted in an apparent knee injury to Blues goalie Jordan Binnington that will sideline him for at least the rest of this series.

Emotions ran high entering Game 4, in which Kadri scored a hat trick in an emphatic 6-3 victory for the Avalanche, but Berube and Brayden Schenn said that’s behind them.

“The play happened, obviously the emotions are high,” Schenn said. “People are frustrated, it is what it is. And now we have to focus on winning hockey. I know we said that before last game, but that's obviously where your attention has to turn.

 

“Obviously, (Kadri) had a good game last game. We can't go out there and just worry about him. We’re worried about winning a hockey game.”

Early in Game 4 Schenn circled Kadri looking for a fight. But Kadri wouldn’t take the bait. And in the second period, David Perron drew a two-minute penalty for cross-checking that resulted in a 5-on-3 power play for Colorado — setting up the Avs’ fourth goal of the game.

Perron later said he was just trying to spark some energy in his team on the play, and not necessarily go after Kadri.

“I don’t really think that going into the game our guys were overly concerned with getting redemption on him,” Berube said. “I know Schenn tried to fight him early on in the game and I thought it was over, then Perron and him mix it up, they kind of went at it a little bit.

“We ended up on the wrong side of it for sure, but I think that going into it, our focus was on winning the hockey game. We didn’t play very well. I mean, that’s a very good team over there, they have a lot of good players,

“Nazem Kadri’s a real good hockey player. They have a bunch of guys and he showed that the other night. We have to play better.”

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