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Karlsson, Turris trade sticks for baseball bats

Senators players given custom jerseys, take batting practice with Ottawa Champions of Can-Am League

NHL.com @NHL

Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris of the Ottawa Senators traded their hockey sticks for baseball bats, taking batting practice with the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am Baseball League on Thursday.

They wore custom Champions jerseys and met with the team's coaches before giving it a try in the batting cage.

Tweet from @OttawaChampions: Champions coaching staff giving @ErikKarlsson65 some pointers. pic.twitter.com/thR77spzQ9

Karlsson and Turris made a friendly wager on who would be able to hit a home run. Turris was the victor in that bet. He said it took some adjustment to be able to swing the bat well.

"We swung and missed more times than we hit the ball when we first got in," Turris told the Ottawa Sun. "And now I think we're hitting the ball more than we swing and miss. So we're making progress, but we're definitely not baseball players."

Tweet from @96Nellis: Some good hacks from @ErikKarlsson65! pic.twitter.com/6EgdZzdlgd

Champions pitching coach Billy Horn gave a reasonable rationale for the players' performance at the plate.

"You're a professional athlete, but at the end of the day, it's tough," he said. "You couldn't just put one of us [ballplayers] out on a hockey rink and expect us to skate backwards and hit one-timers."

With hockey sticks in their hands, Karlsson and Turris each had a solid season. Karlsson played at a point-per-game pace with 82 points in 82 games and is a finalist for the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman. Turris had 30 points in 57 games. 

Tweet from @96Nellis: .@kyleturris trying to golf one out of RCGT Park. pic.twitter.com/942GxeEtEf

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