09.06.2020 15:38|ХК Сочи

Joel Lassinantti: «I can agree that goalies are a bit strange»

Joel Lassinantti is one of the most interesting Sochi signings through this summer. Before joining the «leopards» he only played for his hometown team «Lulea» for over 10 years. Learn more about Joel in his first interview for our website.

- Hi, Joel! Share your emotions from signing the contract…
- I’m very happy that Sochi gave me the chance to come and play, because I’ve heard a lot positive things about the city and the team.

- You were a part of Lulea team for such a long time…Was it hard for you to make the decision to move?
- Yes, it was pretty hard to make that decision because I’ve played there almost my whole career. I think one reason that made it easier for me to move was that it’s a new league and new country.

- Is it true, that fans started crowdfunding to pay for your new contract?
- That’s actually true! It’s a really nice gesture of them and I’m really grateful but I felt I was ready to take my hockey to another level so KHL and Sochi is right choice for me.

- What is it like playing for your hometown team for more than 10 years? Everyone knows you on the street?
- It’s a special feeling to play in one’s hometown and everybody doesn’t get the chance to do that when you are a professional. Haha, not everybody knows me on the street but Luleå is a hockey town so a lot of people recognize the players. It’s just fun to talk to fans who support you and the team, I appreciate it.

- Can we expect that some of the «Lulea» fans will support «Sochi» now?
- Hopefully I can spread Sochi’s colors to north of Sweden as well. Maybe I need to send some souvenirs so my friends can walk with Sochi jerseys on the streets.

- Did you ask for some advices before signing the contract? With whom?
- The guys I’ve talked to about Sochi just has good things to say about the hockey, the town and the weather so it wasn’t a hard choice to make when the opportunity came up. I know Malte Strömwall who played last year in Sochi and I’ve talked to him a bit.

- Actually...How did you become a goaltender?
- At first we had a goalie equipment for the team that everybody who wanted to try be in the net got the chance. And when I tried it I enjoyed it. After a while the list of guys who wanted to be a goalie got shorter and at least I was the only in the team that still was on that list. Actually I played as a forward too up til I was around 14 years old but my priority was goaltending since I first tried it when I was around 10 years old.

- Usually goalies are the strangest members of the teams… Do you have some own superstitions?
- I think everyone has some kind of superstitions to feel the confident. I have a few but not big ones and I don’t let it go that long that I feel I am forced to do it everyday. But maybe you can see some of them on the ice? Then I can agree that goalies are a bit strange. Maybe that’s why we chose to be in the net and let people come and shoot on us with a hard puck, haha!

- With Lulea team you became the winners of the Hockey Champions league. Please tell some words about that season, you also was named the best goalie of the league…How did you earn that title?
- It was my first season in SHL and it was a big experience. We played the final in CHL at home with crowded stance, my first victory at senior level! The whole season went so fast and when they announced me as a the best goalie I was quite surprised.

- You used to paint your mask in colors of your team…Can we expect something about Sochi and the leopards?
- Hopefully I can do some nice design, I can’t wait to make a mask with the leopards on. Do you have any tips what else I can bring on my design?

- We have a lot of Sweden players on our roster. How can it help you and other guys to adopt and show your best skills?
- I think it can be good for me to have some Swedes in same team, especially when it’s my first time in Russia. I think David who’s been in KHL a long time can help me a lot. But in every hockey team nationalities don’t make so much sense cause in the locker room everybody are friends.

- What do you know about Russia, Sochi and KHL at the moment?
- I’ve been in Russia a couple of times when I was younger and played some tournaments with the national teams and I remember it as it was yesterday. I have never been in Sochi so I’m looking forward to see my new hometown, the arena and the people around the team.

- Do you plan to learn some Russian language?
- Actually I’ve started to
learn some Russian words on Duolingo on the phone. But one thing I’m sure of is that Russian is hard language to learn! At the moment we have to do the interview in English, but I will give it a try and maybe later in the season we can do an interview in Russian.

HC Sochi press office
Фото: sportbibeln.se ; luleahockey.se


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