Bio: I love sports in general — all sports. From Olympians, who I revere, to pro sports athletes, who entertain our days when they play. Of course, I like hockey. I would own a hockey team if I could. But like everyone, fantasy hockey is the easiest way and most affordable to be an owner.
I’m in my fifties, so I’ve seen lots of hockey games and lots of players. I remember Bobby Orr from my early days watching hockey. Truly, the best hockey player I have ever seen. Guy Lafleur was also an exceptional talent. But then came Wayne and Mario, both with incredible abilities. I had difficulties following the NHL for a couple seasons after the 1987 Canada Cup — the best hockey series I’ve seen in my lifetime, where Wayne and Mario played together. NHL seemed boring after watching the three incredible Russia versus Canada games and the best duo in hockey history.
I like fantasy hockey a lot, period. No need to add anything. I’ll be active, I promise. I’ve made 35 trades already in this league in a couple of months, so you can trust my promise haha. I joined my first fantasy hockey league in 2000, dynasty type is what I prefer. If I had to define myself as an owner, I would say that I’m a trader. But trading with salary cap restrictions is different, it’s going to be a fun challenge.
Other than that, I live in the Quebec City area where I work in sports. We have two kids in high school. Lots of action, believe me. I am a serious guy, but I also like to have fun — you’ll see. I watch a lot of TV series, my top bands still remain The Police, Rush, Metallica, that kind of stuff. To conclude, I’m happy to have joined this league — let’s have fun!
QUESTION: You’re clearly having fun so far — orchestrating an impressive overhaul of the Red Army franchise from the Redraft through the Entry Auction! Do you have a favourite trade or favourite move that you have made to date? Or perhaps a top three, if you can’t choose just one?
ANSWER: The first important one is always the best. When I traded Panarin was huge because it gave me a top-five pick and a chance to shoot at Lafrenière. At that point, I had no idea that I would acquire the other four picks in the top five, or even that it could be possible. But it happened, finally. I’m a GM that follows the flow of opportunity. To be honest, each trade was important because it brought home a piece of what I’m building. And no single piece is more important than the whole. But yes, I wanted Lafrenière for numerous reasons. I like the kid’s talent, poise, grit and leadership. He also has game-breaking abilities. A very interesting package that makes him hard to stop. I had to do all I could to have a shot at him. Then I realized I had to do more than get chances to land him, I had to secure him — make sure he becomes Red Army. Which I did.
QUESTION: Any regrets? What was the hardest move to make? Do you miss any of the players you’ve traded away? Is there one that “got away” — a player you really didn’t plan on trading?
ANSWER: I regret no one. I’m not attached to players or rarely. For me, everyone is always trade material if you can get better in the process or simply because you get a missing piece. Gee in another league I even traded Connor McDavid and picks before the draft for ... Sidney Crosby and John Tavares. Two seasons later, I was in the final. That remains my biggest trade so far in my fantasy career, but I really like the group I have here right now.
QUESTION: Safe to say the Entry Auction went to script or even better than anticipated for Red Army? It appears you executed your plan to perfection? That 2020 draft class is going to be the future core for MRA — unless you flip those prospects for present stars. Either way, the future is looking extremely bright now that all those first-round picks have names attached to them in the form of top prospects filling up your protected list. They didn’t come cheap, obviously, but you must be thrilled with how the inaugural Entry Auction played out?
ANSWER: Yes I am. I had a plan but an adjustable one. Let’s say I had a Plan A, B and C. But in each plan, I was landing the goalie, Askarov. I wanted as many top-10 prospects as I could but not at the expense or risk of losing Askarov. I let go on Holtz and Rossi, who I wanted too, in order to eliminate the last possible bidders on Askarov. If I had chosen the players in the order of my preference, Lafrenière would have come first but Askarov was second overall on my list. A real special talent. One other thing that sounds obvious, I wanted Hendrix Lapierre too …
QUESTION: Red Army’s present roster isn’t far off from contending either — it’s young but very deep and very potent. I’ve heard you say that Red Army will win the Klein Cup and/or the Founders’ Trophy within five years. Is that the window to win? Is this a five-year plan? Or do you expect Red Army to be crowned sooner than later? Do you start making win-now moves to accelerate that timeline or stay the course with a draft-and-develop strategy to ensure MRA becomes a dynasty by building around those entry-level contracts?
ANSWER: Yes, I hope I’ll be able to win either a season championship or a Klein Cup within five years. I’ll try to win as soon I can, but I respect every owner and every GM here. I know they will all try to win too. Who knows what will happen. Yes I could, at some point, do some win-now moves but honestly I don’t really plan to for the first season as I don’t know really how my actual roster will fare statistically. I have lots of young players. It will be a work in progress. But you know what? Winning isn’t everything. Having fun, making friends, in my opinion, still remain much more important. I’m happy to think I already have numerous friends in the league at every level — GMs, owners, scouts, league execs. That’s important to me, even more than trying to win.
QUESTION: The salary cap isn’t a concern in the present — Red Army is hovering around the floor despite all their firepower. But that will be the challenge in the future, trying to keep this core together while staying under the ceiling. In the NHL, more and more teams are trying to win the Stanley Cup while their stars are still on ELCs and they can afford to add expensive ringers. Is that going to be the case for Red Army in the UFHL as well? Are you worried about the cap casualties to come? How far ahead are you looking and planning? Or are you going to sit back and enjoy the next couple seasons now? Is it time for some R & R — rest and relaxation?
ANSWER: Haha this is the most important question. How will I handle my team when players will be paid higher salaries as they become vets, stars or some I hope superstars? Well, I’ll manage. I’ll have to trade some at some point, I may even have to let go certain players depending on the situation. I’ll cross the bridge when I see it. But for now, it will kind of be the beginning of the story. Each season will be important to evaluate players and see who will remain Red Army five years from now.
QUESTION: Overall, you seem to be enjoying the UFF Sports experience. You’ve emerged as the GIF king in the Telegram community and you’ve got your silent partner schtick with Mr. Putin. The UFHL is a lot more interactive and has a lot more going on than the average fantasy league. There is never a dull moment — thanks largely to yourself and Red Army. What are you enjoying most about this league and this platform? What are you most looking forward to?
ANSWER: I’m looking to have fun. I’m looking to laugh with people and enjoy myself. I’m looking for trades for sure, always, but to me, the best part of this platform is the friendship that we’re developing along the way. We have more interactions and that’s really different than any other fantasy league. The platform allows you, on a fantasy level, to control mostly everything. On that point, I haven’t experienced everything yet. I have no scouts. I’m not really on social media either. I’m still a solo act and I was too busy trading. I’ve made 35 trades up to now since August. And there’s a 36th coming for sure on November 1st. That’s something that really kept me busy I’d say.
QUESTION: Are you taking an interest in the business side and the tech side, with blockchain and crypto and the bigger picture? Are you excited about the potential revenue streams? Are you prepared for the upcoming Zilliqa launch or still getting up to speed on all those fronts while focusing more so on the fantasy gameplay for now? Are you ready to enter the crypto world? Are you going to jump in with both feet — like you have the UFHL in general?
ANSWER: I’ll be honest, I’ve joined the league for fantasy hockey. I know nothing about that stuff. But that doesn’t mean I’m not interested and that I won’t get into it. I see that as part of the stuff I haven’t explored yet and that I will have pleasure to discover. I don’t know what to think yet of potential revenue streams, but it’s exciting to think there could be. Whatever happens, first and foremost, it will be a fun ride, no doubt.
Artemi Panarin-Mikhail Grigorenko-Nikita Gusev
Jack Hughes-Nico Hischier-Brayden Point
Taro Hirose-Tomas Nosek-Emil Bemstrom
Hampus Lindholm-Erik Karlsson
Patrik Nemeth-P.K. Subban
Noah Juulsen-Adam Boqvist
Extra Skaters: Steven Santini (D)
Kirill Kaprizov-Evgeni Malkin-Patrick Kane
Alexis Lafreniere-Nick Suzuki-Filip Zadina
Nick Robertson-Jack Hughes-Trevor Zegras
Sam Steel-Ryan Getzlaf-Troy Terry
Hampus Lindholm-Tony DeAngelo
Alexander Romanov-Adam Fox
Bowen Byram-Adam Boqvist
Extra Skaters: Gabriel Vilardi (F), Jeff Carter (F), Ville Heinola (D)
1) Cole Caufield (F)
2) Ilya Sorokin (G)
3) Pyotr Kochetkov (G)
4) Nolan Foote (F)
5) Tim Stuetzle (F)
6) Lucas Raymond (F)
7) Jake Sanderson (D)
8) Jamie Drysdale (D)
9) Jack Quinn (F)
10) Cole Perfetti (F)
11) Yaroslav Askarov (G)
12) Anton Lundell (F)
13) Seth Jarvis (F)
14) Rodion Amirov (F)
15) Lukas Reichel (F)
16) Hendrix Lapierre (F)
17) Jan Bednar (G)
18) Daniil Gushchin (F)
19) Brandon Coe (F)
20) Artur Akhtyamov (G)
Red Army is ready to take this league by storm, with Luc possessing the makings of a powerhouse. That roster and protected list didn’t come cheap — it was quite costly, with Luc also the leading spender by a sizeable margin — but it should prove profitable in the years to come as a developing dynasty.
Luc is playing the long game as far as investing now with hopes of profiting later. That could be sooner than later, regardless of whether he shifts his focus into win-now mode. That roster may be young but Red Army will be a force to be reckoned with from Day 1. And Luc is evidently willing to spend in order to ice the best roster possible.
That said, the salary cap serves as the great equalizer and promotes parity as much as possible, so Red Army won’t be able to “buy” the Klein Cup. Financial flexibility — or flat-out flexing — certainly helps Luc’s chances, but he’ll need to play his cards right in order to stay ahead of the game. As Luc alluded to, most of his peers are also in it to win it and won’t be bought off per se. Their pride will kick in and they won’t let Luc pay his way to the top — even if it appears he is well on his way already.
On the lighter side, English isn’t Luc’s first language — he’s French — but his sense of humour is universal and that really shines through in his GIFs and memes as well as his recent appearance on the UFF Sports Podcast. Luc’s GIF game is strong and so is his Putin schtick. That “silent partner” has been influential in every Red Army move as a constant presence in the Telegram chats. Mr. Putin would be proud of Luc’s efforts in assembling Red Army’s roster and incorporating a good amount of Russian talent.
In all seriousness, Red Army is trending towards being the team to beat in the UFHL and Luc is going to be having lots of fun if those winnings come to fruition in the coming seasons. He’ll also be able to convert his Rubles into crypto and increase his net worth as he takes up an interest in that side of the platform, which could be a win-win for Luc. Stay tuned for Red Army’s next move!
If I had to define myself as an owner, I would say that I’m a trader.
— Luc G.
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