Chip off the ol' Bob

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

Scrappiness must run in the family.

Coming out of college, Eric Nystrom wasn't known as a fighter. But with a scrap in three of his last four games, the Calgary Flames middleweight is proving it can be part of his hockey arsenal.

Ejection and possible suspension were the repercussions of dropping the gloves in the NCAA. So, while Nystrom did engage in a few fisticuffs in the USHL before joining the University of Michigan, he admitted there's another source to tap now that he's a pro.

"I'm no stranger to the old man's fight tapes. I've seen a few clips of him," the 24-year-old said of his dad, Bob Nystrom, who was willing to take on all-comers during a 14-year career with the New York Islanders in the 1970s and '80s. "You've just got to grab on and punch and be able to take a punch."

Following recent bouts against Minnesota's Kurtis Foster, Colorado's Ian Laperriere and Edmonton's Allan Rourke, dad had a little advice.

"He said, 'You better be careful, you're going to develop a reputation. You're going to have guys looking for you,' said Nystrom with a laugh.

"He said it's good. There's guys out there that might be a little scared and if you go into the corner with them, they know you can handle yourself pretty well."

Healthy after a shoulder injury plagued him for more than a year, Nystrom first displayed his tough side in the AHL.

He came to a teammate's defence during a game between his Quad City Flames and the Milwaukee Admirals in October.

Taking offence to a shady hit on Gord Baldwin -- who he described as a "string bean" -- Nystrom quickly dropped Admiral Ryan Maki.

"I had to give him the old one-two combo," joked Nystrom when he was first called up to the NHL. "I don't think his gloves were off yet."

ICE CHIPS

Daymond Langkow , who has been out with a concussion, practised fully with the team yesterday, but still needs to be cleared by doctors. Indications are he'll be good to go ... Alex Tanguay missed practice but did an off-ice workout later yesterday. The winger had a touch of the flu and was kept away from his teammates.


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