O’Neal Overseas: Patrick O’Neal behind-the-scenes with LA Kings in China (VIDEO)

The LA Kings, and small production group from FOX Sports West, were China for the Kings’ historic visit.

Our own Patrick O’Neal provided behind-the-scenes updates with photos, videos and more.

Take a look at the entire trip below!

Day 6: What a trip!

I woke up in Beijing and realized it was our last day in China and was happy and sad at the same time. I’ve never been on a road trip like this before, with a large group doing so many incredible activities together. Dinners, the Great Wall, and the infamous Karaoke battle in our white robes. As you can tell from the photos, we all developed a bond.

We started the day in Tiananmen Square, which became another mental snapshot that we will never forget. But in case I do, there were plenty of photos to look back on.

Tiananmen Square. I was told by a guard not to do this anymore because I got no hops.

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Tiananmen Square Rosey and Chop. Unforgettable trip

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Unfortunately we did not make it into the Forbidden City as we ran out of time. One more day in Beijing would have been perfect. Did I just say that? Don’t I want to go home??

I arrived at the Cadillac arena around 2:45 for the 3:30 game, and the energy was much different from Shanghai. The fans were in their seats early, the energy was good, and it felt like a Kings road game. There were more fans of the Canucks, but that may have changed by the end of the game:-)

Very impressive crowd and game is still 11 minutes from starting.

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The Kings won it in a shootout on a Jonny Brodzinski goal. He is a great guy, and you fans will love him!

As I write this we are on the bus to the airport. More than a two hour bus and then a 12 hour flight to LA. But we arrive three hours earlier than when we take off. So weird. I think I’ll stay in bed all day Sunday and watch football and decompress.

Huge thanks to Jack and Ed here in China, great guys to work with always.

And Jessica and Vince and everyone back at Fox Sports West, thanks for putting these all together. I’ll take a break from the video blogging madness for a little while. But who knows, maybe I’ll miss it🤥

And thank-you Luc, Rob, Mike, Kelly, Nam and the entire staff, all the sponsors on the trip, and of course the players. Congrats on your team photo! 

Go Kings!

PS- DVR our LA Kings Insider: China Games show on Fox Sports West. So much great content collected!

 

 

Day 5: The Great Wall … and a Kopitar cameo!

By the time we got back to the hotel after the game in Shanghai it was nearly midnight and we had to get our luggage to the lobby by 12:30a. So it was a mad dash.

By the time I fell asleep it was 2am and my alarm was set for 6am for a 6:45a bus. But I awoke at 5:30. This lack of sleep is SO much fun. Long story short we had breakfast and got to the airport for the flight to Beijing. Both the LA Kings and Canucks and NHL staff were on the plane and it was not a problem at all other than which one is Henrik or Daniel Sedin:-)

When we landed we jumped on busses heading for the Great Wall of China. Now I always expected Beijing to be the most polluted, smoggy city in the world, but when I looked up I saw nothing but blue skies and sunshine. It felt like home. We got lucky! I have always dreamed about this day at the Great Wall and it was amazing being there. I wish I had time to see it and walk it all, but I was busy taking photos of myself and the Kings players and shooting videos, but it was a total blast.

Everybody was stoked to be there. It ended with a cold one at the cafe and a toboggan ride to the bottom. So much fun.

The Great Wall of China ✅ Incredible weather today. Caught a break.

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Watch your step boys. The Wall

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After a two and a half hour bus ride to our hotel in Beijing… yes it was long…we all met up for dinner. Thanks to Derek Armstrong and a few others, Karaoke broke out in the hotel. Four Chinese waiters were the judges and let’s just say it was hysterical. We all laughed until we cried. Memories for a lifetime.

Gameday tomorrow and then the flight home.

See you soon! Thanks for keeping up with us! Go Kings!

Day 4: Jet Lag ✅

Game day. 

I may have mentioned this before, but this experience is surreal. Amazing on so many levels. I’ve spoken with several players and they agree. But it is also a challenge for them physically. They are forced to push themselves to the brink of exhaustion during training camp, and also fly to China, acclimate to the time change, take part in daily excursions and find time to rest. But every guy realizes this is a once in a lifetime trip, and they are enjoying the experience. 

So today this was the plan- myself, our producer Jack and our videographer Ed hit The Bund to shoot some stand-ups for our LA Kings Insider: China Games show which will air on Fox Sports West on the Oct. 7.  I think you would agree the views are spectacular. Usually I’m one or two-take Pat, but there were so many people crowding me, it was a tad unnerving. But I’m a pro right? Right? Ultimately nailed it. 

Then it’s was time to get ready for the game. No pre-game nap, just a little workout and some shopping for the wife. Hope she likes funny shirts.

Once I got to the arena I had to navigate through about a hundred security guards…why was I so nervous?

Then I encountered a group of children and they were so darn cute. I tried to get them to chant “Go Kings!” But a lady said “Canucks!” and I was shocked LOL.

Then I did one more stand-up for the show down on the ice. I had to wait for Jim Fox to interview Drew Doughty … and they were both perfect on TV. But I’m not surprised. 

The game was a slash fest.

Many a player was perplexed and frustrated –15 penalties or thereabouts. Couple of guys I interviewed cleverly worked the penalties into their answer. There is concern, this could be a problem during the season with the crackdown on slashing. So… you just have to let the guy beat you. No battles? Maybe this is just a preseason deal, and we won’t see it called that much in season… he says hopefully. 

But anyway, the fans in Shanghai seemed to have fun, and I thought the Kings played well. First game ever in China. History. Congrats to Kempe on scoring the first goal! Juice!

By far my favorite moment is seeing Tanner score two goals in front of his Dad here in China. Such a cool moment for a super cool family. 

Ok that’s it, we have a 6:45am bus to the airport and a flight to Beijing! Can’t wait to see the Great Wall of China. 

What a trip! See you tomorrow, whenever that is…

Day 3: Bye-bye Fog

The Kings had the 11am practice today so we all went over on the bus at 9am Shanghai time. Remember we are 15 hours ahead. Nobody is complaining of being tired, but I promise you we all are dragging.

The Arena ordered 25 huge humidifiers to combat the ‘Fog’ issue. They will be plugged in for the game Thursday. Let’s hope it works. 

The crew. Photo credit: a guy I asked who said ok

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After practice a small group of players went to play golf while the rest went to this famous Marketplace and Garden. It was raining hard and my favorite part was seeing all the hockey players with these tiny umbrellas we had to buy at a small store.

So far this was my favorite part of the trip, because it seemed very authentic to China and it was an experience I will never forget. I walked around with Jordan Nolan just taking random pictures and people watching. What a day. I’m pooped, but excited for the first ever NHL game in China tomorrow.

I can’t thank the Kings enough! Go Kings Go!

#ONealOverseas

Actually I really need the umbrella.

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Day 2: Seeing the sights … and ice!

Unreal first full day in China. Words can’t describe but I’ll try. It started with a breakfast that was out of this world. St. Regis hotel buffet, put it on your bucket list. 

Good morning from Shanghai. A bit Hazy and muggy today it appears. I slept well so I'm excited to start the day.

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Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai! Spooky.

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The only thing that seemed bizarre was the ‘Fog.’ Imagine playing hockey but not being able to see across the ice, that’s what this was. It was real bad for Canucks practice, and then got better, and then got bad again when the Kings were on the ice. Alec Martinez told me it’s because it’s humid outside. Ok, I get that Marty. But also it’s a combination of doors being left open all over the place and players sweating on the ice. The ‘Fog’ should be all worked out by game time. If not, that will be a challenge for the people in charge. 

I loved seeing the children that were here for the clinic. They were all so excited and I heard they skated very well. There are 24 million people in Shanghai and 1.6 billion in China, so there is a huge push to grow hockey here. Rinks are being built and more NHL games are coming in future years. Six of the next eight years games will be played here. 

Talking hockey!

Team photo from Shanghai – um hey camera guy – move

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After practice we went to the French Concession for some exploring with the players. Most players split up. A majority went to an establishment to enjoy a beverage and eight or so players went for dim sum. I loved witnessing credit card roulette for the first time. All the rookies survived and Alec was stuck with the bill – well, he can afford it. 

I went shopping with Kempe and Brodzinski — what cool guys. I really hope they make the team. Kempe bought a trendy hoody, because he can pull it off. Great dude. 

Finally we made it back to the hotel only to quickly get ready for a bus to a nice meal in Shanghai with about 50 of Kings staff and invited guests. I crashed the party, but what else is new. I am enjoying the ride. 

More of the adventure to come. 

Thanks for following along with #ONealOverseas!

Day 1: Traveling to China

14 hours by plane … no problem for our guys!

So the good news is the flight time is "only" 13 hours and 18 minutes!👀 #GKG

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Now, some photos!

Some authentic Chinese food in Shanghai. My fav was the tsingtao

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