Meet the Owners Profile: Dynasty

Meet Xavier and Bryan.

Franchise Name: Dynasty

Status: 2nd Owner, joined for 2020-21

Owner/GM: Xavier Smith is the owner and GM; Bryan Hernandez is assistant GM and director of scouting as affiliated scout

Ages: 25

Occupations: Broadcast Production; Videographer

Current Towns: Los Angeles, Calif.

Hometowns: Los Angeles, Calif.

Favourite NHL Teams: Los Angeles Kings; Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Seattle Kraken

Favourite NHL Players Past: Luc Robitaille; Wayne Gretzky, Rogie Vachon, Rob Blake, Marcel Dionne, Chris Chelios, Joe Sakic, The Hanson Brothers

Favourite NHL Players Present: Anze Kopitar, Sasha Barkov; Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Cale Makar, Alex Turcotte, Dylan Strome, Patrick Kane, Alex Debrincat

Xavier Bio: California born and raised! First love is baseball, but hockey is a close second — followed after by my wife and dog. 5+ years of Broadcast Production experience. Fantasy Junkie — redraft and keepers. Analytics and player development is the way to succeed!

Bryan Bio: Native of Southern California. Lover of All Sports except NASCAR. Connoisseur of Everything Fantasy Sports. Semi Professional Artist and Videographer. Comic and Sports Card Collector. Believes in the Numbers. #TrustTheProcess.

QUESTION: Dynasty is back in business and already busy making moves — both for the roster and the protected list as well as on the branding front. Talk about taking on the challenge of rebuilding this franchise and the new direction as well as the new look. Are you enjoying everything that comes with being an owner, having previously served as a GM with a limited role in the UFHL? You have to be happy with the early results?

Xavier: I am excited to have the opportunity to own and operate the Dynasty! My familiarity with how the league operates will be beneficial to us, but we also know this will take some time to retool. We are certainly happy with early results, but we can’t sit on our hands, we need to explore every option out there. It will be a challenge to turn this team around, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Every move we make will help us turn this franchise into a Dynasty.

Bryan and I talked a lot about the logo, color scheme and jerseys. We take a lot of pride in the look and want that pride to carry out to the roster.

Bryan: I’m extremely excited to rebuild this franchise. I’m not afraid of hard work. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.

QUESTION: Do you have a favourite move to date, from your first week as a franchise owner? The move that stands out was trading away your 2021 first-round pick — Dynasty’s most coveted asset — in exchange for four quality prospects and a nice chunk of cash to bolster your operating budget. Do you consider that the biggest or most important move thus far?

Xavier: I don’t think I have a favourite move just yet, but I have liked all the moves we have made. Trading the first-round pick was the biggest and most important move. It wasn’t an easy decision but any time you can turn a pick into four prospects and cash definitely makes it easier to part with. With a portion of the money gained from the pick, we went out and added five more prospects. Adding that much prospect stock seemed like a no-brainer for us at the cost of losing our pick.

QUESTION: Dynasty also acquired Ryan Getzlaf as a salary dump that came with another cash infusion. Dynasty still has cap space and can weaponize it by taking on big or bad contracts from other franchises. Is that part of the rebuild plan? Bryan’s favourite player Drew Doughty is currently a UFHL free agent because of his contract — $11 million cap hit for seven more seasons. Any chance Dynasty signs Doughty as their franchise player going forward or would you rather save that cap space for other opportunities on the waiver wire and roster casualties ahead of the expansion draft? Are you expecting upgrades to be available as other franchises face the reality that something is better than nothing with the expansion draft looming following this season?

Xavier: Absolutely. We will look at taking on big contracts if it is beneficial for the future of the franchise. We would love to have Doughty on our team if we can open up some more cap space. Bryan and I have this conversation daily. There are benefits to adding a player like Doughty. But at the same time, adding a contract of that size has to make sense and not hurt our chances of adding players we want to target on waivers or ahead of the expansion draft. I think some teams will become more aware of the potential damages of the draft as we get closer to it, which could benefit us. We need to take advantage anywhere we can to succeed in the long term.

QUESTION: The roster you inherited was in rough shape, but the defence was decent. Do you plan on dealing from that position of strength with the likes of Justin Faulk, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Ryan McDonagh, Anton Stralman and Josh Manson at your disposal? Or do you plan on building from the back end around those veteran blueliners? You did part with Adam Larsson, trading him for a younger defender in Victor Mete, plus a few additional prospects. Is that the goal — to trend younger and focus on the future? Or would you like to compete for a playoff berth in 2021 with an older core now that you have traded that first-round pick?

Xavier: We are open to any move that will make us better in the long term. A few of the defensemen need to have bounce-back years and produce numbers they have consistently put up in their careers. If they can do that, then I think it will benefit our retooling and make this process a little easier. Unfortunately, I think we came along a little too late in the game this offseason to try and build a playoff team for the 2021 season. Not saying it can’t be done, but our focus is to get younger quickly and build long-term success.

Bryan: The Dynasty defense is in decent shape from an NHL-ready talent standpoint, but we are always looking to improve. If we see a trade that we know can help us, we will always consider it. This sport is a business and we will always do what we feel is best for business. Every team is always looking to get younger. Our plan is constant improvement as we produce homegrown talent. The trade of our first-round pick in 2021 was less of a win-now mentality and more of a planning for the future of the franchise. We would have loved to have kept the pick, but we found an offer that we felt helped our franchise more than the pick would have.

QUESTION: Did you purchase Dynasty with a three- or five-year plan? Or are you just taking it day by day? Are you taking a patient approach or how quickly can you turn this franchise around? What would you consider a successful season for 2021? When do you envision Dynasty becoming a contender?

Xavier: We are taking it day by day with a patient approach and leaving no stone unturned. If we can finish inside the top 20, it would be a step in the right direction, but we need to set the groundwork for the future. We talked about our salary cap for this season, but looking to next offseason we have more cap space and will look to add any big names that become available. With the amount of moves made in this league, our position from rebuilder to contender could change quickly, but we will remain patient.

Bryan: Dynasty is taking it day by day for now. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a plan. We have every intention to compete, but we know that this rebuild will take some time. We aren’t expecting to win it all, but we still expect to be competitive. We see a finish in the top 20 as a successful season. Dynasty hopes to become a contender soon, but we know it will take a lot of hard work to get us there.

QUESTION: Lastly, tell us more about that new look — the new primary logo and the new colour scheme — and the decision to rebrand the Dynasty franchise. Why did you make those changes and what is the significance, if any?

Xavier: We made the changes to the logo and color scheme because we wanted this to feel like our team. We liked the dragon from the original secondary logo. We modified it and made it our new primary logo. We wanted to keep some of the history of the Dynasty and made the original primary logo our secondary logo and kept the blue color scheme. We loved the look of the green with the blue. Blue and green dragons symbolize the clearing of skies and approaching of a new season.

Bryan: Dynasty is entering its first year under new leadership. New ownership will usher in a new chapter in the life of Dynasty. The new look and color scheme is representative of that.

A New Look. A New Owner. A New Dynasty.

Dynasty Current Roster

Forwards

Jeff Skinner-Ryan Getzlaf-Jakob Silfverberg

Brendan Perlini-Cody Eakin-Ryan Hartman

Evan Rodrigues-Mikko Koivu-Sam Gagner

Dmytro Timashov-Denis Malgin-Melker Karlsson

Defenders

Ryan McDonagh-Justin Faulk

Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Anton Stralman

Brian Dumoulin-Josh Manson

Goaltenders

Henrik Lundqvist

Malcolm Subban

Extra Skaters: Victor Mete (D), Derek Forbort (D), Michael McCarron (F)

Protected List:

1) Michael Del Zotto (D) (waivers)

2) Ilya Lyubushkin (D) (waivers)

3) Artem Zub (D)

4) Jack Rathbone (D)

5) Brinson Pasichnuk (D)

6) Josh Maniscalco (D)

7) Nolan Foote (F)

8) Isaac Ratcliffe (F)

9) Ryan McLeod (F)

10) Daniil Gushchin (F)

11) Brandon Coe (F)

12) Logan Hutsko (F)

13) Graeme Clarke (F)

14) Nate Schnarr (F)

15) Colton Point (G)

16) Matt Villalta (G)

17) Artur Akhtyamov (G)

Affiliated Scout List:

1) Rhett Pitlick (F)

2) Nick DeGrazia (F)

3) Eetu Liukas (F)

4) Johnny Walker (F)

5) Linus Weissbach (F)

6) Peter Abbandonato (F)

Fisher’s Thoughts

So far, so good is an understatement for Xavier and Bryan’s efforts toward making the most of this opportunity. They bought in cheap, taking over Dynasty as a reclamation project after the former owner decimated the roster before leaving the league unceremoniously. It was no secret that restoring this franchise to respectability would require significant investment — both time and money — but this management duo is well on their way to accomplishing that feat through a handful of moves.

Getting Getzlaf and adding Mikko Koivu from the open market on the same day was quite the coup — that would have been a home run a decade ago, but those two should still boost Dynasty’s offensive production in the present and could become lucrative assets for the Legends League once retired.

Doughty definitely feels destined to become Dynasty’s franchise player — he is the perfect fit, with Xavier and Bryan both hailing from Los Angeles and being Kings fans — but it’s totally understandable that they have the same cap hit concerns as everyone else and that they want to clear some cap space before making that splash. There should be interest in Faulk, McDonagh and Vlasic, among others, on the trade market. So I’d be willing to bet we’ll see Doughty donning the Dynasty dragon before long.

That protected list is coming together nicely, considering it was nonexistent a week ago and now features 15 legit prospects. Xavier and Bryan are right to focus on the future and prioritize their protected list as much as their active roster. Bryan wasted no time in working the open market, putting on his scouting cap to scour the hockey world for present and future prospects. You love to see it!

The rebranding of Dynasty is also a hit, with that colour scheme and primary logo really popping off the page. I’m a big fan of their new white jersey in particular. And who knew that blue and green dragons symbolize the clearing of skies and approaching of a new season. Chalk that up to learning something new every day ... well played guys!

Dynasty is taking all the right steps toward relevance, including developing a social media presence with their Twitter account @DynastyUFHL and their catchy hashtag #LongLiveDragons🐉🔥.

It’s true that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Dynasty has already improved by leaps and bounds on paper and from a branding perspective. Again, you love to see it! If Xavier and Bryan can maintain this level of commitment and continue to make successful moves, Dynasty should be trending up and potentially cracking the top 20 in 2021 on their way to contender status in the years to come. This is an easy franchise to root for going forward.

Every move we make will help us
turn this franchise into a Dynasty.

— Xavier S.