NEW YORK -- It's no secret that Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse comes from an athletic background.
Most sports fans have heard of his uncle, former NFL All-Pro quarterback Donovan McNabb. His father, Richard Nurse, was a wide receiver with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.
Darnell said he's seen the result of that career crop up as his father has gotten older.
"The other day we were sitting on the back deck and that was one of my questions," Nurse said during a press event Thursday at the Empire State Building. "He can't straighten one of his elbows, he's got a couple fingers pointing the wrong way."
Those kinds of injuries are why Nurse was pushed into hockey.
"I tried a couple years in a row [to play football]," he said. "I tried to get them to budge but they wouldn't. They said stick to hockey. I look at it now and I'm real thankful for that decision."
Nurse said it was his father who was most adamant that Darnell stay on the ice, rather than the gridiron.
"My mom just sits back and says do what you like," he said. "My dad says stay healthy."
Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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