Q&A with Oscar Fantenberg - LA Kings Insider

Oscar Fantenberg has been a valuable and versatile addition to a Los Angeles Kings team that has banked on his crisp puck moving and pace-setting skills. The team appears more comfortable with his match-ups at home, where he has averaged 16:03 of ice time through five games, than on the road, where he has averaged 12:01 over four games. Overall, with four assists and an even rating through his first nine games, he’s been a good fit at even strength and on the power play for a club that enters tonight’s game at Montreal with a 7-1-1 record.

After Los Angeles’ morning skate, Fantenberg shared additional details on his background and the work he put in with KHL-Sochi last season.

Harry How/Getty Images

LA Kings Insider: First impressions – because it’s your first time in Canada – what’s your first impression of Montreal?
Oscar Fantenberg: It’s a nice city, a nice arena, so I have nothing bad to say about it.

LAKI: Did you learn French, or are the two languages you know Swedish or English?
OF: You could choose Spanish, German or French.

LAKI: What did you choose?
OF: Spanish, but I wasn’t that good at it. I was there for like a year, so I can’t speak Spanish at all.

LAKI: So you can’t go into certain L.A. neighborhoods and be fluent?
OF: Oh, no, no, I can’t. That’s a language I’ve just forgotten.

LAKI: Most of your friends and most of your classmates back then, did they choose German?
OF: Yeah. German, I think, is the easiest one. That’s a little bit of the same as Swedish – some words and stuff are the same. Also, German is spojen in Europe, so I think most of the guys and the girls choose German growing up.

LAKI: When did you start learning English? Is that something from kindergarten on?
OF: I think you start when you’re like eight, nine, 10 years old, maybe, until you’re like 18. So basically everyone my age, they learn how to speak English pretty well. I think the older generation, my parents and so on, they like to speak English, but they’re not as good as people growing up right now, so I think it’s good learning a second language.

LAKI: I think I asked you way back in development camp, but how much Russian did you pick up last year?
OF: Ahh, just a couple words. I can get around ordering stuff in a restaurant, and hockey-wise, it’s pretty much the same. But in the end, I can understand pretty much what they’re talking about, but not really exactly what they talked about. Like, I know what topic they’re talking about. I’ve forgotten most of it because you lose it pretty fast when you don’t speak it during the summers. But if I go back and am there for a couple of weeks, I’d probably pick it up pretty fast.

LAKI: When you were practicing with Sochi, was there any sort of process when you were at practices learning drills and knowing what the coaches were saying?
OF: Every coach spoke English, so they translated everything about it. But I would say at two months during the regular season, I would say that’s the breaking point. Like, in the beginning it was pretty hard. You heard them say the same words over and over again. You didn’t really know which ones they were, but after two months during the regular season, you pretty much knew what it was.

LAKI: Was every single meal on a game day chicken and pasta?
OF: Yeah, I think I had rice, pasta and meat sauce during the whole season, and you don’t want to change it or try something weird, Russian stuff to eat, so it was pretty much the same during the road trips. When I was at home, I had mu fiancée cooking, so it was pretty nice to have someone cook for you and it was good to have them have kitchen where you can cook your own food. That was the best part.

LAKI: Was there any bizarre pre-game meal that you had in Russia that was different?
OF: I remember after a game, that night when we came back to the hotel and we were eating, it was like the chicken wasn’t done. It was half-cooked and it was bad, but they had room service, so I had a burger. One time, the rice was hard, the chicken, you could see it was half-cooked. It was like, ‘I’m not eating this one.’ Obviously some days and sometimes you had a bad stomach. I had a stomach flu for 10 days or something where I couldn’t eat or do anything. It happens once in a while, but it wasn’t that bad as it sounds. But it was pretty much the same food over and over again.

-Lead photo via Jamie Sabau/NHLI

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS