DENVER– Adrienne Ruth wanted to leave Nazem Kadri know that she and all Colorado Avalanche fans had their backs and decided to do something about it.
Ruth, an Avalanche season ticket holder, painted a sign with a personal message for the forward and printed 300 flyers at her local office reading “Stand With Naz” for Game 5 against the St. Louis Blues at the Ball Arena on Wednesday .
The signs were placed on the seats before the game and fans held them up during the 5-4 overtime loss. They were Ruth’s response to the taunts and threats directed at Kadri after Game 3 of the series in St. Louis on Saturday.
In this match, the Blues goalkeeper Jordan Binington suffered a lower-body injury at 6:45 of the first period after being knocked down by a teammate Rosen Street and Kadri, who was skating hard for a rebound.
“After everything that happened before Game 4, I was devastated,” Ruth told NHL.com Thursday. “I usually have a sign for Naz for most games so I knew I was going to get something. [for Game 5]and a few members of the Avs community reached out to me and said, “Do you have any ideas?”
Ruth’s personal sign read: “The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in times of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy. #StandWithNaz” This is a slight reworking of a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
Kadri scored his first career hat trick in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 4, a 6-3 win over the Avalanche on Monday.
“We take threats made to any of our players or other club personnel seriously,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told TSN’s Darren Dreger on Monday. “We are in contact with the St. Louis Police Department and they are using heightened security procedures both in the arena and in the hotel.”
The Avalanche led the best-of-seven series 3-2 heading into Game 6 at St. Louis on Friday (8 p.m. ET; TNT, CBC, SN, TVAS). With a win, they would reach the conference finals for the first time since 2002.
Ruth, who also makes and sells Avalanche-related merchandise through Etsy, said Kadri’s wife, Ashley, contacted her to thank her for her support.
“I got to know her. I said, ‘I’m planning on doing this, just so you know,'” Ruth said. “She said it was great to see.”
Ruth said the overall response has been “phenomenal positive”.
“To quote Naz, for those who hate it, there will always be haters. There will always be those who disagree with it, who don’t understand it, or who try to talk about it about something else , but it’s quite small.” she says. “I will say that even with the devastating loss (in Game 5), I woke up with a pretty full heart. Our news cycle is full of bad. It’s nice to see the goodness doing the news cycle.”
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