Skip to main content
Short Shifts

Erik Karlsson scared by gator during round of golf

Senators defenseman briefly loses cool after near run-in with animal in Florida

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

Erik Karlsson expected to see the Florida Panthers this weekend. He wasn't expecting to see a Florida gator.


The Ottawa Senators captain nearly jumped out of his skin when an alligator splashed in a lake at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida where he spend the off day on Saturday. Professional golfer Jesper Parnevik caught Karlsson's reaction on camera.

Tweet from @JesperParnevik: Not much scares @ErikKarlsson65 but this guy did....�� @DAlfredsson11

"I haven't really seen a wild gator before," Karlsson said Sunday after the Senators morning skate in preparation for their game against the Florida Panthers (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, TVA Sports, FS-F, NHL.TV). "There was a lot of buildup going up to it. We were going to go down and take a picture and I wasn't looking at it. (Alfredsson) had mentioned earlier that they could launch at you and I didn't see it. I just heard it move and I panicked a little bit. And I got stuck, too. It was a bad combination of a lot of things and then I didn't know that Jasper was taping the whole thing and realized that after."

Karlsson was asked whether the scare affected the rest of his golf outing.

"My next tee shot wasn't the best probably," he said. "The heart rate was up a bit, but overall it was a nice and relaxing day. As soon as I realized that it went back in the water, I kind of calmed down but it took me a couple of seconds to see where it was going."

Karlsson said seeing a gator up close, startling as it may have been, isn't going to keep him from playing golf in Florida in the future.

"I'm a veteran now," he said. "I'll be fine. I know how to handle it. But it was fun. It was a fun little thing and it was fun that he got it on video." 

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.