McNabb has been working with Darnell Nurse, who is expected to be one of the top picks in the June 30 NHL Draft (at least according to my mock draft).
“He’s been one of the best people in my life to go to for advice,” Nurse said of McNabb, via Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News. “He’s been a big influence in my life. I think anyone who has a family member in sports faces the same thing.
“But at the same time, it’s a different sport and I’m trying to do my thing so that at some point, my sister’s kids will be asking about me.”
Nurse’s dad, Richard, is the brother of McNabb’s wife Raquel. Richard Nurse was also a wide receiver in the CFL, so Darnell has some background with pro athletes at home.
But growing up in outside Toronto, his dad steered him toward hockey. He’s been going to Arizona to train with McNabb the last five years. But the last time they saw each other, McNabb prepped him for his combine interviews by portraying an executive.
What he hasn’t been able to do was get McNabb into hockey, at least as a participant.
“I’ve tried to get him on skates, but he won’t budge,” Nurse said. “That’s the next step.”
While Nurse might not be on the board when the Flyers pick 11th, he knows from visiting his uncle twice a year in Philadelphia that playing in that kind of market would be an experience.
“I loved it there,” Nurse said. “The fans are crazy. But I think that’s the best part of the city – that they’re crazy about their sports. They’re going to let you know when you don’t do so well. I think my uncle is a prime example of that.
“But at the same time, you get a lot of respect for success. If I had the opportunity to go there, that’s the kind of market you want to play in.”
At least until it goes to overtime.