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Well, it is definitely a moot point as Tlusty signed with NJ for one-year at $800,000.

Wow...that's definitely lower than I thought he'd sign for...I was thinking 1.2 mil range for 2 years.  Now I'm REALLY curious what RF was offering him that he balked on last spring.

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Just a thought, what about going after Jordan Leopold for a season?  I know he's 35 and on the downhill, but getting some veteran experience on the 3/4 lines to work with the younger players might be a blessing...and I think he can be had for cheap.

 

http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/13662882/life-trade-minnesota-wild-jordan-leopold

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I've been kind of sitting back and reading and listening for a few weeks now.

 

The Staal conversation has taken on, IMO, a topic of it's own. Given this is probably not going to stop, the speculation and all, I'd pitch in if was a separate thread topic.  Just a suggestion.

 

Season tickets in hand, going to camp on opening day, take it from there, life is good.

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Sure.  To me your posts sound like you're almost taking Tlusty's turning down the Canes offer last spring "personally", or think the Canes should.  Something kind of related to "loyalty".  This is overstating it a bit, but the feel I get is almost along the lines of: since Tlusty turned down our offer he should more or less be "dead to the Canes" (anyone watch Shark Tank?  Kevin O'Leary? :lol: ).

 

We don't even know what kind of offer the Canes made to Tlusty, so in my mind, why hold it against him if he felt it wasn't good enough to commit without seeing what the market was like? And why tie the teams hands? If Tlusty could improve the team and we were able to reach a mutually agreeable an agreement this summer/ fall, why rule that out on what sounds like principle?  (almost certainly a moot point now that we signed Versteeg, however).

 

In summary, the standard I was referring to is akin to "loyalty". And given how much of a business major league sports have become I just don't think we can expect as much in either direction as there used to be.

Thanks for explaining. I now better understand what you meant by "a different standard." And yes, I absolutely think this team needs to hold players to a different standard (and is doing so) than it did under the old regime.

 

There are lots of moving parts in any transaction, but from a GM's standpoint, three things need to be considered with any player (all the time, but especially at contract time): Loyalty, necessity and coziness.

 

Management means demonstrating to current players employees that (1) if they work with you you'll treat them well (the loyalty part); and (2) that you're willing to cut them loose if they demand more than they're worth (the necessity part). 

 

Which brings me to coziness.

 

For me, there is no question that JR's serial overpayment and recycling of players was a huge factor in this team's mediocrity. One needs look no further than the Anton Babchuk debacle to see the most extreme example of what I think often manifested due to JR's regular application of two really bad management choices: (1) Staying committed to an employee long after he should have cut them loose, and (2) leaving the door open to employees who'd left--even Babs, who dissed him and the org.

 

After closely watching his first go-round with free agency, I am convinced RF will not be guilty of either thing. He sees his players for what they really are: Employees, who he will pay exactly what they're worth, based on performance. And he's applying that logic top to bottom: Look at the number of one-year deals signed over the summer. 

 

This makes very clear that we're not re-signing guys based on potential, or what they've done in the past. With the exception of Nesty, who got rewarded with a two-year deal for making the roster off the waiver wire last year, and new players who got the standard entry-level deal, everybody got signed for one year, and those who refused whatever the org was offering (Dwyer, Bellemore, Jared Staal, Beau Schmitz) don't have jobs here anymore. 

 

You're right. Lake: We don't know exactly what the Canes offered Tlusty. But I think we can safely assume it was more than the $800K for one year he just inked. We can also surmise, given RF's public emphasis on it at the time, that it was made clear to all the pending FAs that he'd make his best possible offer to those he wanted to keep--and not a penny more.

 

Look at the FAs who stayed (McClement) and the ones who left (Sekera, Tlusty, Harrison), I think it's clear RF wasn't overpaying. Then look at where those guys wound up. I think RF made the right decision in every case. Finally, look at who he signed to fill those holes, and you can see why he stuck to his guns: RF knows that, with the exception of the most elite players in the league (which can be counted on one hand and a couple more fingers), there is ALWAYS another player out there who will give you what you're already getting - and very possibly more, because they are motivated - at a lower price.

 

Conversely, when an employee knows he can take his chances elsewhere because his old employer will always take him back, that employer has absolutely no "hand" (for the Seinfeld fans out there :)) in terms of holding the employee accountable, let alone motivating him. The message the employee get is, "We're desperate. Do whatever you like. You'll always have a home here." 

 

One last thing (and I do apologize that this is so long): I have little time for those who fret about whether a player will "want to play in Carolina." It's still the NHL. We have a Stanley Cup. We're headed by a hall of famer. And when this building is full, it's the loudest in hockey. Give me 100 Nate Gerbes and Kris Versteegs and Andrej Nestrasils and Brad Malones and Chris Terrys--guys who know what it means to be in the NHL. Tlusty? In the end, his inflated opinion of himself left him two choices: $800K to stick in the league for one more year, or back to Prague.   

 

It's obvious to me that RF knows what every good manager knows: If you want results NOW, you must pay for what you're getting NOW--because that's how employees are incentivized to earn and to achieve MORE, NOW.   

Edited by top-shelf-1

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I'm in complete agreement with much of what you said. But you misunderstood what I meant by "a different standard" (I probably didn't explain it well enough).  And I still think part of your philosophy is "Canes-centric" as would be viewed by an objective outside observer.  I'll try to explain my thinking. 

 

 

Thanks for explaining. I now better understand what you meant by "a different standard." And yes, I absolutely think this team needs to hold players to a different standard (and is doing so) than it did under the old regime. 

Agree about needing to change the organizational standard from what JR was doing. But that's not the "different standards" I was referring. What I meant is that you very rightly expect the team to act in a businesslike way (i.e., negotiate in it's best interests irrespective of sentiment) but seem to hold it against a player if he does the same. More relating to that below.

 

 

There are lots of moving parts in any transaction, but from a GM's standpoint, three things need to be considered with any player (all the time, but especially at contract time): Loyalty, necessity and coziness.

 

Management means demonstrating to current players employees that (1) if they work with you you'll treat them well (the loyalty part); and (2) that you're willing to cut them loose if they demand more than they're worth (the necessity part). 

I completely agree with (2) above.  But (1) seems to "beg the question" from the teams perspective with respect to contract neotiations. The assumption seems to be that the teams position is by definition "fair". You want loyalty from players (which could mean a "home team discount" from market value) but is that a fair demand without reciprocity from the other direction?  Because said reciprocity might run counter to (2), which we agree the Canes need to employ.  

 

 

Which brings me to coziness.

 

For me, there is no question that JR's serial overpayment and recycling of players was a huge factor in this team's mediocrity. One needs look no further than the Anton Babchuk debacle to see the most extreme example of what I think often manifested due to JR's regular application of two really bad management choices: (1) Staying committed to an employee long after he should have cut them loose, and (2) leaving the door open to employees who'd left--even Babs, who dissed him and the org.

Imo, the Canes need to act in a rational manner, period. You're absolutely right, we shouldn't overpay or recycle based on familiarity. Nor should we keep a player past his usefulness (see Gleason). But why would you rule out players just because they've been here before if they can help the team at a mutually agreeable term now? As a small market team we've got enough restrictions on us without self imposing additional ones, imo. 

 

After closely watching his first go-round with free agency, I am convinced RF will not be guilty of either thing. He sees his players for what they really are: Employees, who he will pay exactly what they're worth, based on performance. And he's applying that logic top to bottom: Look at the number of one-year deals signed over the summer. 

Agree.

 

This makes very clear that we're not re-signing guys based on potential, or what they've done in the past. With the exception of Nesty, who got rewarded with a two-year deal for making the roster off the waiver wire last year, and new players who got the standard entry-level deal, everybody got signed for one year, and those who refused whatever the org was offering (Dwyer, Bellemore, Jared Staal, Beau Schmitz) don't have jobs here anymore. 

Pretty sure we basically cut most of those latter players rather than them turning down any offers. I suspect Dwyer or Bellmore would have accepted league minimum contracts, which could be viewed as them making a "reasonable" offer play for the Canes. Going back to the loyalty you expect from Canes players, what about the reverse for those players? I don't think anyone would argue that we owed them anything.  It was a business decision, period. But that doesn't hold the other way around for someone like Tlusty?  

 

You're right. Lake: We don't know exactly what the Canes offered Tlusty. But I think we can safely assume it was more than the $800K for one year he just inked. We can also surmise, given RF's public emphasis on it at the time, that it was made clear to all the pending FAs that he'd make his best possible offer to those he wanted to keep--and not a penny more.

 

Yes, the market showed that Tlusty was off on his idea of "fair market value" in his negotiations with the Canes.  Just like it showed that the Canes were off in it's negotiations with Sekera ($33m over 6 years with Edmonton).  My point isn't about who was right or wrong in either negotiation, but rather that both sides can be principled in their beliefs and negotiation positions but differ to the point that they just can't reach agreement. So why hold it against the other party? I hear your Tlusty argument about setting an example for future negotiations, but I bet you don't want it to work the other way (say players looking at the Sekera negotiation as a reason to avoid negotiating with the Canes).

 

Look at the FAs who stayed (McClement) and the ones who left (Sekera, Tlusty, Harrison), I think it's clear RF wasn't overpaying. Then look at where those guys wound up. I think RF made the right decision in every case. Finally, look at who he signed to fill those holes, and you can see why he stuck to his guns: RF knows that, with the exception of the most elite players in the league (which can be counted on one hand and a couple more fingers), there is ALWAYS another player out there who will give you what you're already getting - and very possibly more, because they are motivated - at a lower price.

I don't have any problems with the decisions RF made.

 

Conversely, when an employee knows he can take his chances elsewhere because his old employer will always take him back, that employer has absolutely no "hand" (for the Seinfeld fans out there :)) in terms of holding the employee accountable, let alone motivating him. The message the employee get is, "We're desperate. Do whatever you like. You'll always have a home here." 

Of course we shouldn't always take a former player back.  But if he can help us in the future, I don't think we should rule him out, either.  I'd love to have Tlusty right now at $800k or even $1m. And I suspect that if we did, the lesson about overreaching in a contract would be just as strong as I'm sure that's far less than our original offer.

 

One last thing (and I do apologize that this is so long): I have little time for those who fret about whether a player will "want to play in Carolina." It's still the NHL. We have a Stanley Cup. We're headed by a hall of famer. And when this building is full, it's the loudest in hockey. Give me 100 Nate Gerbes and Kris Versteegs and Andrej Nestrasils and Brad Malones and Chris Terrys--guys who know what it means to be in the NHL. Tlusty? In the end, his inflated opinion of himself left him two choices: $800K to stick in the league for one more year, or back to Prague.

Those types of players (Versteeg really doesn't belong in there, does he?) definitely have value beyond their raw numbers.  I also value them highly. But take a team comprised solely of those type guys and you're guaranteed of finishing at the bottom. It takes talent as well as attitude to win.

  

 

It's obvious to me that RF knows what every good manager knows: If you want results NOW, you must pay for what you're getting NOW--because that's how employees are incentivized to earn and to achieve MORE, NOW.   

Agree!

 

In summary, I agree with most of your perspectives.  My one big disagreement is how you view a player we can't come to terms with.  I think the player has as much a right to approach negotiations from a business perspective as the team does. Writing him off forever if we don't reach an agreement seems almost vindictive to me, and I can see situations where if could be counterproductive.  Rather than setting the tone you described above, it could be creating the perception of the Canes as a kind of a hard line, inflexible, my way or the highway type organization.  Which might be useful in some senses but could be detrimental in others. 

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I think all of the one year or two years deals Francis has picked up are partly a symptom of changing the model, but some of it is a nod to the transition that we are in: we needed a body at wing and a body on defense, just to maintain the basic team that managed to get the #5 pick. We have at least made some attempt to replace Sekera and Tlusty, but without tying the team to those players long term. We upgraded at goalie. The other nice thing is that picking up those guys at least in part because they have less time left on the contracts (Lack and Versteeg), other teams are picking up some contract (Versteeg), and the players were victims of a tail off in other team's perceptions of them. The nice thing is that they all have serious upside.

 

But, where I disagree is that you can't really have a team of cast offs and one year deal guys. You need a core of elite players on fair longer term contracts. If we end up being far too cheap relative to the general fair market value, that won't work either: see el cheapo.

 

So, to me Francis has shown a very nice tendency to make the good JR moves and avoid the bad. But mostly these are small ball, around the edges moves. How he handles the big names: E, J, Skinner, Ward, and leaves us with a plan to have at least a few elite or near elite forwards two years from now, is the next stage of the game. So far: incomplete. If he either re signs Staal to a team friendly deal, or gets a very nice return for him...and basically same w/ Ward? Then strike up the band we have an awesome GM.

 

I'm still assuming he will get that done. My guess is that he wants to wait until he has some feel for how the team and E and Ward are performing. I think that is reasonable, but it can't go on for too long, AND it does carry the risk of E breaking out and his price going up.

Edited by remkin

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I'm in complete agreement with much of what you said. But you misunderstood what I meant by "a different standard" (I probably didn't explain it well enough).  And I still think part of your philosophy is "Canes-centric" as would be viewed by an objective outside observer.  I'll try to explain my thinking. 

 

 

 

In summary, I agree with most of your perspectives.  My one big disagreement is how you view a player we can't come to terms with.  I think the player has as much a right to approach negotiations from a business perspective as the team does. Writing him off forever if we don't reach an agreement seems almost vindictive to me, and I can see situations where if could be counterproductive.  Rather than setting the tone you described above, it could be creating the perception of the Canes as a kind of a hard line, inflexible, my way or the highway type organization.  Which might be useful in some senses but could be detrimental in others. 

Good discussion, and I appreciate the elaboration. 

 

Let me be clear: I am NOT opposed to bringing back players when they have left, worked out for other teams in other situations and we see a role for them. The reason I'm not as keyed about woulda coulda shoulda with Tlusty as some here is that (1) he got an offer and turned it down, (2) didn't do much where he went anyway, and (3) expressed an interest in coming back when it was clear nothing was forthcoming from anywhere else.

 

So maybe I should say that what I most oppose is what's popularly known as "rentals." I think if somebody is under contract to a team and wants to stay with that team and the team wants him back, something either gets worked out or it doesn't - and if it doesn't, you (as the trading team) and he (player) don't get to reunite a few months later. Maybe what I want is a one-year moratorium on any player returning to the team he's left at the TD in the final year of his deal? That's very specific, I know - but maybe it's what's needed.

 

On a couple of your other points:

 

I think Sekera got what he did mainly b/c the Oil has new life, which means a huge bump in STH (that barn was not sold out every night, but it will be now, and that means a bunch more revenue). If we'd had that, Sekera's probably still on the team. But alas. But again: There is always another guy out there who will give you what you need. It's the GM's job to find him, and so far, RF seems fine with that.

 

Does Versteeg belong on that list? I think yes, although I'll admit I'm basing that purely on the fact that he's done what we're asking him to do here already, in FL--and has said all the right things about doing it again, here. For a guy who just left the team he did to say that, yeah: Give me a bunch of Versteegs.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Waddell bought a 50m house in Ral. It looks like the canes are going no where...

 

 

50 mil? Did he buy the capital building?

 

I think bd merged together 2 paragraphs from an N&O article about a talk Waddell gave at the Raleigh Sports Club.  In one paragraph he says he just bought a house. In the next he talks about a proposed expansion and renovation of PNC Arena, estimating it could cost $50 million to $70 million.

 

It has some interesting stuff about Semin.  In addition to not buying into Peter's culture, Waddell said this:

“Alexander Semin was a very top-end player in the league when the game was played at a slower pace. It’s now played at such a high level if you can’t skate it’s hard to compete. Alex lost a step and he tried to play on the outside too much because he didn’t have the speed."

Edited by LakeLivin

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Honestly Waddell's interview ;made me feel much better about the state of the canes all around.  However this is his job so...........anyway, Lets go Canes, here to stay and not rebuild but "retool".  I Believe, Lets Go Canes.  Turn it around this year baby.

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I think we all owe the Capitals fans an apology who came here and warned us about Semin...as much as it pains me to say it...

 

Here's hoping he does the same thing to the Habs...they deserve it!

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On Waddell's interview, I was rather surprised to see the STH sales had increased for the first time in 6 years.  It probably has helped that the Canes have significantly beefed up the sales staff, but it also helps when the front office and the coaching staff communicate a clear path for the future and are obviously making good on that promise and sticking with it. 

 

Maybe Canes STH's are more willing to be patient when they see a clear path for their investment to pay off long-term.

 

I'm also quite happy it's going to become much more difficult for walk-ups to get cheap, discounted seats which devalue the STH's.  With those types of deals being phased off the market, It's nice to feel like for once you are the most important customer.  No offense to anyone that's not a STH.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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50 mil? Did he buy the capital building?

 

Right.  Seriously, bd, you lose credibility spouting off like this.

 

The 50M is for the arena remodel.

 

Waddell's home is public record. It is typical 6 figures, like 90% of the houses in this area.

Edited by wxray1

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I think we all owe the Capitals fans an apology who came here and warned us about Semin...as much as it pains me to say it...

 

Here's hoping he does the same thing to the Habs...they deserve it!

Gotta say though, Subban's just-announced donation is pretty freakin' awesome: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=779258

 

As for apologizing to any Craps fan, anytime, anywhere: Uh, no. :lol:

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Right.  Seriously, bd, you lose credibility spouting off like this.

 

The 50M is for the arena remodel.

 

Waddell's home is public record. It is typical 6 figures, like 90% of the houses in this area.

 

Yeah, $685k purchased back in June.

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I'm also quite happy it's going to become much more difficult for walk-ups to get cheap, discounted seats which devalue the STH's.  With those types of deals being phased off the market, It's nice to feel like for once you are the most important customer.  No offense to anyone that's not a STH.

 

I have to disagree with you here.  Back when you could get walk up tickets at 9.99 the day of the game,  my friends and I went to about 20 games per year.  We would pay the parking, pay for beer, buy hats and scream our butts off for the Canes.  Now that there is no real deals like that we go to 4 or 5 games a year.    I guess it's better for the franchise to not have 4 screaming fans at the game because they can't afford ST or 35.00 nose bleeds?   Just saying, attendance goes  up when there are good deals which brings more $ to the arena and bodies in the seats.  I do get where you are coming from though, STH are expensive and it upsets you to see people getting in for $10 a game.   

 

BTW for anyone that can't afford season tix or 35.00 tix, Stub hub usually has tix anywhere from $5 to $15 for weekday games.  $15 and up for weekends depending on how big of a game it is.    

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. . .

(1) So maybe I should say that what I most oppose is what's popularly known as "rentals." I think if somebody is under contract to a team and wants to stay with that team and the team wants him back, something either gets worked out or it doesn't - and if it doesn't, you (as the trading team) and he (player) don't get to reunite a few months later. Maybe what I want is a one-year moratorium on any player returning to the team he's left at the TD in the final year of his deal? That's very specific, I know - but maybe it's what's needed.

. . .

(2) Does Versteeg belong on that list? I think yes, although I'll admit I'm basing that purely on the fact that he's done what we're asking him to do here already, in FL--and has said all the right things about doing it again, here. For a guy who just left the team he did to say that, yeah: Give me a bunch of Versteegs.

 

(1) I'd be ok with that if it's a league rule.  I just don't want to self impose any restrictions on the Canes that all the other teams don't have.  We've already got enough of those as a small market team. 

 

(2) Versteeg didn't seem to fit because he's making $4.5m per, the others not so much.  If you want to start an "all-character" team I'll nominate Manny Malhotra.

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Right.  Seriously, bd, you lose credibility spouting off like this.

 

The 50M is for the arena remodel.

 

Waddell's home is public record. It is typical 6 figures, like 90% of the houses in this area.

 

So I misread the article and was off in numbers.  What exactly did I spout off?  I still stated a clear fact...

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I have to disagree with you here.  Back when you could get walk up tickets at 9.99 the day of the game,  my friends and I went to about 20 games per year.  We would pay the parking, pay for beer, buy hats and scream our butts off for the Canes.  Now that there is no real deals like that we go to 4 or 5 games a year.    I guess it's better for the franchise to not have 4 screaming fans at the game because they can't afford ST or 35.00 nose bleeds?   Just saying, attendance goes  up when there are good deals which brings more $ to the arena and bodies in the seats.  I do get where you are coming from though, STH are expensive and it upsets you to see people getting in for $10 a game.   

 

BTW for anyone that can't afford season tix or 35.00 tix, Stub hub usually has tix anywhere from $5 to $15 for weekday games.  $15 and up for weekends depending on how big of a game it is.    

 

While I have certainly done my share of 9.99 in the past, it does make sense that they don't need to undercut the STH prices for the most part.  I have been everything from single game, mini-pack, to full STH.  I think I can understand the point from any angle.  Yes, cutting back on all the discounts and freebies may make for some smaller crowds, it does reward those that are STH's and have made the commitment to the organization.  I think there is some room to maybe have some el-cheapos for mid week games against teams that do not draw.  They could have some "value games" on Monday thru Thursdays against the Panthers, Stars, Blue Jackets, etc. and not really tick off the STH's.

 

The cheap StubHub tickets are a lot less now than in the past.  Somebody (the org says not them...but) was dumping a lot of tickets on StubHub that could be had ultra-cheap.  I have bought uppers for as low as $1 and Center Ice Premier as low as the 4th row for $20.  Now this wasn't for games against the Penguins or Blackhawks, but they were there.  I checked a bit last season, and they had dried up a lot.

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I am also glad to that season ticket holder sales have gone up, especially since prices have also gone up.  I did notice that there are some premium games wear prices are way high on the face value.  I wonder if they will actually be able to get face value for this games. 

 

Waddell also insisted that the team was not going anywhere during the prospects game.  Still, in most cases that will be the party line until a team actually moves in most cases. A winning team and a full building will be the best insulation against ongoing movement rumors.

Edited by remkin

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While I have certainly done my share of 9.99 in the past, it does make sense that they don't need to undercut the STH prices for the most part. I have been everything from single game, mini-pack, to full STH. I think I can understand the point from any angle. Yes, cutting back on all the discounts and freebies may make for some smaller crowds, it does reward those that are STH's and have made the commitment to the organization. I think there is some room to maybe have some el-cheapos for mid week games against teams that do not draw. They could have some "value games" on Monday thru Thursdays against the Panthers, Stars, Blue Jackets, etc. and not really tick off the STH's.

The cheap StubHub tickets are a lot less now than in the past. Somebody (the org says not them...but) was dumping a lot of tickets on StubHub that could be had ultra-cheap. I have bought uppers for as low as $1 and Center Ice Premier as low as the 4th row for $20. Now this wasn't for games against the Penguins or Blackhawks, but they were there. I checked a bit last season, and they had dried up a lot.

Yeah just a couple years ago, I was sitting lower level north end for $13-15 per game off of stubhub. Now you can get tickets for college night prices, but they've raised their taxes.

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