Bio: We are a brother and sister ownership group. This franchise was purchased and drafted as a long-term investment, and we plan on hiring a hot-shot GM to manage our roster and ensure the Royals become fantasy hockey royalty — get it, the Royals … royalty!
Ireland is the older sibling. She is passionate about her beautiful horse, Stirling, and participates in Trail and Showmanship competitions. Ireland is an excellent student, earning top marks, scholarships, and getting into her desired university program, Registered Nurse at the U of R. She has one more year of university left. Over the summer, she works in health care in a hospital.
Tieran is Ireland’s younger brother. He enjoyed playing football in high school. He loves watching the NFL and playing NHL 20 and other Xbox games with friends. Tieran was the absolute mastermind behind the UFHL’s simulation playoffs that awarded the Corona Cup. It was all his idea. He built all 31 custom teams on the EA Sports game, created arenas, mascots, home, away and alternate jerseys, chose unique colour combinations and logos for each. Tieran was close to completing his college program, Agricultural Mechanics at Sask Polytechnic in Saskatoon, but it was abruptly ended by COVID. He is currently farming. Tieran and Ireland love to camp and golf with their dad Tony Charanduk, who happens to be one of the founders of UFF Sports.
As collaborators, this is a great team because Ireland is very organized and Tieran is very creative.
QUESTION: You were one of the first owners to announce their intention of hiring a GM — a hot-shot, no less. Do you expect other owners to follow your lead? Do you anticipate a bunch of hot-shot GMs eventually managing franchises in the UFHL? Maybe even some former NHL GMs looking to keep their skills sharp in hopes of getting back into the big league or perhaps some aspiring GMs looking to establish their reputation and prove themselves on this platform as a stepping stone towards the NHL?
ANSWER: We are excited about hiring a GM and we do think that other teams will follow suit. This organization is already becoming quite complex, it’s not just a few friends playing in a fantasy league. That’s why we got on board with making this a team effort. Yeah, we definitely feel that maybe everyone in UFF Sports will eventually feel the need for a GM, as the stakes get higher and prizes get larger. People will take this pretty seriously and maybe they will even try to lure a good UFF Sports GM to their own team! Could get a little dicey and cutthroat. We’ll see! If former NHL GMs became involved with this platform, that would be so cool. And, now that you mention it, it does seem like being a GM in this league would be a perfect way to hone and prove your skills if you are an aspiring NHL GM.
QUESTION: You mentioned purchasing this franchise as an investment. Many owners share that optimism — seeing the big picture and buying into the UFHL as the future of fantasy, anticipating franchise values will skyrocket as the platform continues to expand and evolve — but why do you believe in the potential of UFF Sports?
ANSWER: We believe in the ongoing and exponential success of UFF Sports because our dad designed it. Just kidding. We actually do think that it will be successful because of the way that it will be worldwide in no time, and then you can say that you are the fantasy sports champion of the world.
QUESTION: Following up on that, what do you like most about this platform and what sets it apart from the competition in the current fantasy sports landscape? Is it the utilization of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology? That is new and foreign to a lot of people, including some of the UFHL franchise owners, who are learning as they go on that front. But many have asked — why crypto? Enlighten us on that decision and how crypto is a key part of this platform in the present and for the future? Feel free to consult with your dad on this one!
ANSWER: The fact that blockchain ensures no duplication of players creates the reality of digital assets having huge value. We have some very cool players, such as Ovechkin, and NO ONE else will ever have that digital asset, unless we sell him.
What sets this apart from the competition, as we see it, is that it can bring people across the entire world together. Using cryptocurrency means that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, you can play.
I (Tieran) am already used to games that require you to purchase in-game tokens to play. So I think it makes sense for UFF Sports to have their own in-game token, the Score Coin. The difference here, which sets UFF Sports apart, and ahead, is that the Score Coin will actually increase in value and can easily be transferred back into the currency you choose, whereas in EA Sports, once you buy the in-game tokens, you can’t exchange them for anything. They are only worth something within that game. Part of the reason we are happy to be invested in this platform is we have learned that cryptocurrency is going to be a huge part of the future. Growing up in the digital age, we see the structure of this platform growing and becoming as legitimate as actual sports.
QUESTION: Taking a look at your Royals roster, I was quite impressed with the collection of talent, which begs the question — do you really need a GM? Or did you already have a hot-shot GM at the helm for the initial UFHL Draft in January? That looks like an NHL team on paper and certainly a contender for years to come in the UFHL. Tell us a bit about your draft strategy and your approach to constructing the Royals’ roster — or did you just go the BPA (best player available) route?
ANSWER: Thank you for noticing how awesome our team is. Even though we have amazing players, we don’t play fantasy sports and that’s why we see a lot of value in hiring a GM. In theory, we are playing the long game, but that’s hard to do without any experience or knowledge. During the draft, we did try to choose a mixture of established talent, such as Ovechkin, and younger talent like Rasmus Dahlin.
QUESTION: You’ve got some star power, including at least two future Hall-of-Famers in Alex Ovechkin and Joe Thornton. They will both be first-ballotters, I would imagine. Did name value factor into your draft decisions based on the value of individual players as digital assets? I know there has been talk of a potential Legends League for retired players in the future — did that cross your mind when picking the likes of Ovechkin and Thornton? How about a prediction — is Ovechkin going to break Wayne Gretzky’s career goal-scoring record as a member of the Royals?
ANSWER: Most important to us was winning the Ovechkin franchise from the original auction. We see him going down as one of the greatest players EVER, and we want to own him even after he retires. There will be a time in the future when retired players will hold great value. We are excited about the Legends League, but that is not something we are thinking too much about right now.
We do have a feeling that Ovi will score more career goals than Gretzky, and we certainly hope that it will happen while he is playing for the Royals! I don’t think we would sell or trade him for any amount of money.
QUESTION: The old cliché is defence wins championships — at least in real life. It looks like you prioritized that position in the early rounds of the UFHL Draft, perhaps thinking the same rule applies to fantasy hockey? Your defence is stacked — so much so that Johnny Boychuk has been relegated to an extra skater for the Royals — but your goaltending tandem is also among the league’s best with Jordan Binnington and Mackenzie Blackwood as a couple netminders just entering their prime. You clearly built this roster from the back end — besides getting Ovechkin in the first round — but does that mean you see your forwards as a weakness? Is that the position you plan to shore up through trades?
ANSWER: We are actually really happy with the forwards we have, so we never thought of it as a weakness before. But, in the future, we are planning to bring in talented younger forwards. Depending on how the Royals perform in the coming season, we will make some decisions about what changes and trades to make.
QUESTION: Scouting prospects is another big part of this platform. You’ve got some up-and-comers with recent first-rounders Rasmus Dahlin and Denis Gurianov on your roster as well as Oliver Wahlstrom on your protected list. But Thornton and Ovechkin aren’t getting any younger as grey beards, so you’ll want to keep accumulating prospects through the UFHL Entry Auction this fall and through the scouting process. Do you plan on hiring scouts to work exclusively for the Royals or will you be partnering with specific scouts to fill out your protected list? Or would you rather purchase prospects directly from independent scouts — essentially playing the field? Perhaps a bit of both? Do you have a feel for how other owners are planning to approach the scouting aspect in terms of acquiring prospects for their protected lists?
ANSWER: We will really lean on our GM to guide us regarding scouts. We haven’t even thought of hiring our own scout. By the sounds of it, many people are registering as scouts on the website, so our GM would not have any trouble finding a good one if we do go that route.
We haven’t talked to other franchise owners, so definitely not sure how they are going about getting prospects for their protected lists. We may start reaching out to fellow franchise owners for advice. Hope they won’t mind sharing their wisdom with us.
Alex Ovechkin-Joe Thornton-Denis Gurianov
Max Domi-Tyler Bozak-Tyler Johnson
Alex Steen-Lars Eller-Blake Comeau
Jacob de la Rose-Riley Nash-John Hayden
Rasmus Dahlin-Drew Doughty
Marcus Pettersson-Ryan Ellis
Braydon Coburn-Tyler Myers
Extra Skaters: Johnny Boychuk (D)
Protected List: Oliver Wahlstrom (F), Taylor Leier (F)
First off, mad props to Tieran for his efforts on the simulated playoffs — that was wicked fun to follow and a great way for the franchise owners to pass the time during COVID! The Corona Cup will go down as a pleasant diversion from the real world! And it sure sounds like Tieran and Tony are on to something big with the Score Coin for UFF Sports. The tech side of this platform truly has mind-blowing potential.
As for the Royals, they are in good hands with the very organized Ireland and the very creative Tieran — those traits should complement each other very well in overseeing this franchise. And hiring a hot-shot GM should further ensure success for the Royals. The GM route will be in the best interests of any owner or ownership group that lacks the time or the expertise to handle those day-to-day duties.
The general manager of their choosing should be very pleased with the Royals’ current roster. Building around Ovechkin and Dahlin, with a defence that also includes Doughty and Ellis, that GM will have a lot to work with from Day 1. He’ll be getting his hands on a plug-and-play roster, considering the goaltending is set for the foreseeable future and the forwards are fairly deep in the present. There aren’t any glaring weaknesses and Wahlstrom should eventually give that forward group another jolt of offence — more goals, in particular. Wahlstrom could pick up the slack if Ovechkin ever slows down!
Ovechkin could go down as the GOAT when it comes to goal-scoring — he might already be deserving of that distinction — and the Great One’s record is looking more and more within reach with every passing season. Ovechkin kept filling the net coming off his Stanley Cup hangover — which was no small feat, seeing how hard he celebrated — so I wouldn’t bet against the Great Eight going forward and I’d certainly want to own him in the UFHL for at least a few more seasons.
Ovechkin is the ultimate franchise player — ranking right up there with Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid — and the Royals do seem well on their way to fantasy royalty!
I don't think we would sell or trade (Ovechkin) for any amount of money.
— Tieran C.
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