Found an interview with Oscar Fantenberg that I have translated for you:
"That’s where I wanted to go as soon as I heard they had been in touch”
The third NHL season – the third team. Having played in Los Angeles and Calgary, Oscar Fantenberg now wants to earn a regular spot on the Vancouver Canucks. “They have something good brewing,” he says of his new team.
by Måns Karlsson
In the midst of last season Oscar Fantenberg was traded from Los Angeles to Calgary. After the end of the season he became a so called free agent and could freely look for a contract anywhere in the NHL. His choice fell on Vancouver where he will become a team mate of among others Alexander Edler, Loui Eriksson, Jacob Markström and not least Elias Pettersson.
“I have always thought Vancouver is a very nice city. And as a team, I think they have something good brewing,” the 27 year old from Ljungby tells us as hockeysverige.se meets him at a café in Jönköping, where he is currently training.
“It was great to hear that they were as interested as they turned out to be and that’s where I wanted to go as soon as I heard they had been in touch.”
He received the message that it was to be Vancouver at the end of June.
“There were a couple of teams expressing interest. I weighed the pros and cons a bit. Then it was also about what I wanted in the contract. The last 24 hours there was a lot of talk with the agent, a little back and forth and negotiations.”
What was it that attracted you to Vancouver?
“As I said, I think they have a good thing brewing. Vancouver has a young team and a lot of pieces that could turn out really well.”
“For my own part, it felt like they really wanted me there, that they have a good picture of what I bring as a player and a person. That was also something that I took into consideration, that they didn’t just throw me a contract to fill out the roster. They feel I can contribute, which was also something that appealed to me.”
What do you see your role on the team is?
“We haven’t really talked about that yet. I talked to the coach a few days later. Then he asked me what kind of player I think I am but also talked about what they think and what expectations they have on me for camp, what will happen there, in order to help me prepare.”
“From what I’ve heard it’s a pretty tough camp, so they probably just want me to prepare as well as I can so that I’m ready when I get there.”
“Then it’s all about battling for a roster spot. We have a pretty big D corps, so I will have to fight to make the team. Have to be on my feet from the get go.”
Especially the defence looks very strong in Vancouver. The team has blue liners like Jordie Benn, Tyler Myers, Troy Stecher, Alexander Edler and the talented American Quinn Hughes.
“They are really good D-men, but I think competition is good so you don’t feel like you have earned a spot before you even get there. It also serves as lighter fluid during the summer to help push me to train harder and be well prepared when I get there.”
“I’ve had it like that for the past two years. My first season in LA I also had to fight for a spot. Nobody thought I would make the roster right away. And it was the same last season as we still had the same crew on defence. It’s about surviving and defending your place on the team.”
“In a way I feel this gives me an added driving force to want to practice, get better and push myself over the limit, which has to be done every now and then with practice and all that.”
“I think it would be a disadvantage to come to a team that says you are guaranteed a spot on their roster. It could make you complacent as it’s human nature to like to be comfortable. And it helps get a fire going in me that I can prove that I deserve a spot and make all the doubters eat crow.”
This will be the third NHL team in as many seasons for Oscar Fantenberg. He started with one and a half seasons in Los Angeles. After that he spent half a season in Calgary and now he will play for Vancouver.
“I guess it’s fun to explore the world (laughs). It was a bit special to be traded mid season last year and it’s a shock when it happens.”
You also had to switch from sun glasses to snow shoes.
“Yeah, that too. I wanted to stay in LA. That’s how it felt. They had given me the chance to play in this league and I wanted a chance to give back to them.”
“But then I get this whole thing with me becoming a free agent and where we were in the standings and all. We needed to offload some players and rebuild. That’s also what they told me, that LA wouldn’t want to let go of me without getting something in return.”
“It was, as I said, a shock, but at the same time, if I think about it, it wasn’t all that shocking considering that I played some really good hockey before the deadline. I mean, it was fun that Calgary wanted me on their team and that they gave me ice time.”
Were things going well in Calgary?
“Yes, I think so. I felt like part of the team right away and I enjoyed playing with Rasmus [Andersson], which I did most of the time.”
“But then we were ten NHL d-men in Calgary and I knew before I got there that it would be tough. It was also mentally tough to go from playing 20 minutes with Alec [Martinez] on the second pairing, which I did for the last ten games, facing the best opponents and feel the trust you’re given, to playing twelve minutes and know that when the opponents top line take the ice you need to get off it.”
“Then again, that was the role I was given. Overall, I feel it’s not that easy switching teams mid season. The others have played together since camp and have gelled as a group. Then I get thrown into the mix, disrupting positions and pairings. But it was still a great group of people and easy to become part of.”
In Calgary there were four other Swedes: Mikael Backlund, Oliver Kylington, Elias Lindholm and the aforementioned Rasmus Andersson.
“I knew Mickis from the world championship and Elias from playing back home in Sweden. Oliver and Rasmus I had played against in the AHL. Oliver and Adrian Kempe are close friends, so I had also met Oliver when he was visiting in LA.”
“You have to make an effort yourself as well. You can’t show up there and whenever someone asks if you want to go along for lunch you turn them down. Eventually they stop asking. You have to open up and let them get to know you.”
“That’s something I’ve learnt even more over there, that you can’t lock yourself in. That won’t work. That way you’ll never function as a group.”
You were in Sochi before Los Angeles, how was the social part there?
“There we were four imports who always hung out and had dinner together. In that way it was completely different.”
It must have been boring?
“A bit, but the Russians are very special and prefer to just speak Russian. But there was one, Ruslan Pedan, who had come home after playing college hockey and was fluent in English. He was almost more American than Russian. We still keep in touch.”
Next season it’s Vancouver for Oscar Fantenberg, something he is very much looking forward to.
“It will be fun. I know Markström from the world championship and Loui used to join us for summer practice when I played in Frölunda. Elias and Edler… Garpen (ie Swedish national team assistant coach Johan Garpenlöv) was over last winter when we played against Vancouver. Then I met them briefly and talked a bit. Seemed like good guys.”
“Edler sent me a text message right away when it was done to welcome me and wrote that I could contact him if I needed anything.”
The past season Oscar Fantenberg has played against Vancouver’s very successful player Elias Pettersson and he is impressed by what he has seen.
“It was fun playing against him, and he is really good…”
What’s the difficulty in playing defence against him?
“For being so small and not really having the body of most NHL players, it is fascinating to see how he manages to play there. There are little things that make him able to create extra time and space all the time.”
“It looks like he has half a second or a second more time than anyone else on the ice. When he receives a puck it’s like it’s immediately where he wants it instead of him having to stop it or adjust it. When you lose that half second the NHL d-men will be all over you at once.”
“When he gets the puck he already knows exactly what to do with it. He creates that half second that allows him to score those goals and make those passes. It’s something innate that just is there. And he is also very odd in the way he uses his body and the stick.”
“It can look so simple, but it’s the small details. As a d-man you tend to know what your opponent will do in a certain situation. But he does something else completely. That way he is very hard to read.”
Has he tunnelled you?
“No, but last season when I faced him, in overtime, he tried to make a move with his stick between his legs, but he didn’t get past me. Which felt good,” Oscar Fantenberg says with a smile and adds:
“I didn’t face him a lot, neither in LA nor Calgary, as it was usually our top pairing that took him on.”
What are your expectations regarding moving to Vancouver?
“To get to play the full season, to establish myself firmer in the league and to help the team. The team looks very strong and I want us to play in the playoffs. On a personal level I want to have an even better season than the one I had last year.”
“First and foremost though my goal is to earn a spot on the team and to play on a regular basis. Then I can build on that. I want to remain in the NHL and that means I have to continue to improve every season and prove that I have what it takes to be an NHL player,” Oscar Fantenberg concludes before hockeysverige.se has him try on his new jersey for the first time.
https://www.hockeysverige.se/2019/07/12 ... ort-av-sig