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Draft Day Could Be Wild

According to Eric Duhatschek of the Toronto Globe and Mail, this could be a memorable weekend.

"There's certainly enough talk going," confirmed Carolina Hurricanes' general manager Jimmy Rutherford. "I would suspect there'll be deals at the draft - and teams are sitting there, with extra picks because of trades they'd made at the deadline, so that also leads to the possibility of more moves."

Tom Thompson, the Minnesota Wild's assistant general manager, also zeroed in on the teams with extra picks, saying: "I can never recall a year when six days before the draft, so many teams had multiple picks in the first round, including two teams with three picks each."
Thompson made that statement hours before Philadelphia gave the Predators back the first-round pick they acquired in February in the Peter Forsberg trade, leaving the Flyers with just one first-rounder, albeit the second choice overall. The two teams with three first-round selections are the Edmonton Oilers and the St. Louis Blues, both of whom figure to be moving and shaking by the weekend - if not sooner.

And...

Presumably, the best is yet to come - with most NHL teams descending on Columbus in the next 24 hours to prepare for the opening round of Friday's entry draft in what looks to be a wheeling-and-dealing frame of mind.

Sounds like I could be in for a busy weekend at Nationwide Arena.

Read the whole article here. And thanks to Kuklas Korner for pointing me to it.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 18, 2007; 5:57 PM ET
 
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Comments

So, the Flyers just spent over 10 million of their cap space and gave up a 1st rounder to do it. Kinda surprising they made those moves, but it also suggests how much $ the top C's are gonna get.

Just a few more days...then the real fun will begin!

Posted by: Jeff | June 18, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers always seem capable of doing something tremendously stupid. I really don't like the precedent either. Hartnell just got paid like he was a star. So much for the lockout balancing the ridiculous spending. This is the kind of stuff that makes GMGM twitch. If he opts to not follow the pack, he gets no one of merit. If he follows, he overpays through the nose for someone that may do little for the team. Remember what Boston paid for LaPointe?

I'm scratching my head this year. I'm still haunted by the GMGM comment: "I think Backstrom's better than Staal." So many unknowns. Fehr ahead of Getzlaf. It might be another one of those Junes. Or, it could be spectacular!

Posted by: 007 | June 18, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Understand that I think Philly got good players, but it is obvious that they overpaid. My only question is whether their mistake will hurt them or other teams more. It isn't hard for me to feel like the Flys wiggle room is going to be too slim and that they're going to see trouble with the cap.

Posted by: false_cause | June 19, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

To be honest, I've never been much of a Flyers fan. Primarily because, historically they've consistently beat the ---- out of the Caps. However, I must applaud their most recent personnel moves; getting defenseman Kimmo Timonen, and winger Scott Hartnell in a trade with Nashville. That's precisely the kind of proactive maneuvering GMGM should be doing. But, frankly I'd be shocked if he does.
Philly's not horsing around! It's abundantly obvious they have zero tolerance for the kind of failure they experienced last year. And, I sure as heck don't hear anyone up there talking about "Five Year Rebuilding Plans" and other such hogwash. As the late, great Coach George Allen so eloquently put it, "The future is NOW!"
Just as Philly had a late 1st. round pick ( 23rd. ) so do the Capitals. Why couldn't GMGM have made that move? If necessary, he certainly could have thrown in one of his seemingly limitless number of "Prospects" in order to further sweeten the deal. But, no! He let the team only 90 miles away steal his thunder.
As expected, there are those rushing to GMGM's defense. Citing $$$ as the primary stumbling block. To that I say, "Horsefeathers." If Leonsis is too cheap to compete financially, then please, please Ted, get out of the kitchen.
It's been my suspicion all along that Ted and George plan on acquiring some more Brian Pothier type, 2nd. and even 3rd. tier FA's. Then, invoking their well - worn "Spin" machine to attempt to convince the public of how shrewd they've been. THAT'S what I expect. But, I'm sorry ya'all. I've been there, and heard ALL OF THAT one time too many. SHOW ME A COMMITMENT TO WINNING! GET OFF YOUR DUFF. BE PROACTIVE. SHOW THE FANS YOU CARE. THE FUTURE IS N O W!

Posted by: Puckguru | June 19, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Puckguru, I hate the Flyers, I hate them as much as I hate the Cowboys, but they picked up two good players. They robbed the Predators twice, they got three good players for Peter Forsberg last year. George McPhee could takes some notes from Paul Holgrem. I think they are better than the Caps right now, I hate to say it, but I think its true.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | June 19, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

See, I don't necessarily think the future is now. I mean, do I want to see the Caps back in the playoffs and win a Stanley Cup? Of COURSE...but realistically, let's say the Caps had gone and spent 10 million on the two players the Flyers did yesterday. They still have major holes on their roster. Spend another 5 mil on that, and you'd be around 45 mil salary cap. Well, what happens next year (or maybe it's 2 years...not looking at the current contracts) when OV, Semin, Morrison, etc become RFA's? We can't pay them, they leave, and then we would have freaking Scott Hartnell rather than either OV or Semin.

Sorry, I'd rather this year maybe NOT be THE year, and we handle the cap well. I'm certainly not saying standing pat, but why trade a 1st rounder to spend 10 mil, when maybe you trade a 1st rounder + something for a guy like Marleau who is making a lot less and is a better player than Hartnell anyhow. I do realize people are impatient, and want instant gratification, but in 2 years you will be shredding management for not having the $ to pay to keep the team intact.

Just my 2 cents..

Posted by: Jeff | June 19, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

What Jeff said.

Posted by: HolyOlie | June 19, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The Flyers seem to have deluded themeselves into thinking they are only a couple of players away. The Caps, on the other hand, know they aren't a couple of players away. We still need a talent infusion all around (even assuming Backstrom is the real deal).

And while its fun to say GMGM could've gotten the same deal, we really don't know. Maybe Poile is still mad we traded them Witt. Maybe the Flyers answered their phones first.

As for Edmonton, they seem to be the KC Royals of the NHL. I think they'll keep all of those picks.

Posted by: tallbear | June 19, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Let's set the record straight on this "great" trade by Philly. They didn't get Timonen and Hartnell for a first round pick. They traded a first round draft choice for the "right" to negotiate contracts with Hartnell and Timonen and then they grossly overpaid both of them. If they had waited until July 1st, they could have kept that first rounder and still probably signed the pair since they were willing to pay whatever it took to sign them.

Posted by: b.orr4 | June 19, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Jeff,
You're absolutely right - the future is not right now for the Caps. In fact, the future is NEVER right now for the Caps. The Caps management always has a spin for whatever moves they make / don't make, and then plug season tickets in the tag line.

McPhee has no business savvy, or creative genius. He's a scavenger, a bargain hunter. His idea of shrewd business is being the first guy at the garage sale and taking home a bargain, but it wasn't something he really needed, and in the end, doesn't get the job done.

Did you see the last draft?? His brilliant plan was to tell Boston exec's the Caps could go either way with the Swede (Backstrom) or Kessel, hoping they'd want Kessel and give up a later rounder to the Caps in order to select him. WOW!!

When the Bruins inform him they want Backstrom, McPhee pretends to be talking with some hack of a scout before telling the Bruins no deal.

McPhee is also the genius behind acqusistions such as: Battaglia (which we traded Kono for??), Frank Kucera, trying to lure Richer out of retirement, Joe Murphy anyone? Jon Gruden, Ivan Ciernik, Jason Doig, Petr Sykora...no, the one overseas he acquired from Minnesota..brought back Sylvia Cote.... it just goes on and on....

Meanwhile, Leonsis believes the reason fans aren't coming is because of "the fan experience" including everything from promotions at intermission to free handouts. How else to explain the hiring of Cassidy vs. a quality NHL coach...because he was marketable "Butch Cassidy". Anyone ever seen/heard of Cassidy being considered for an NHL coaching job since??? didn't think so.

So Jeff - you're right. The Future isn't NOW for the Caps and it never will be, until a REAL GM with a grasp of what it takes to win, aligned with a coach who can build a system around his team, and an owner more focused on winning vs. having the AOL foam mascot at his team's games.

Posted by: The Rock | June 19, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The Flyers made a risky move. As was stated, they grossly overpaid for the 2 guys because they gave up the 1st rounder for exclusive rights to negotiate, and they would have looked stupid if they ended up missing out on the players they targeted.

That said.... I'd LOVE to see GMGM do something 'creative' or that includes an element of risk. I'd love to see him REALLY targeting a guy that they covet. And I don't mean throwing some lower than market value offer out there and claiming you went after Chara, or just waiting around for the dust to settle and then seeing who is left over (ala Pothier). He needs to show some cajones and make a serious play for the guys they want.

Personally, I like the idea of blowing the Sharks away with a trade package for Marleau. The only drawback is that you'd pretty much have to get the guy to sign a longterm extension, otherwise he'll be a UFA after the season. Signing an extension right off the bat didn't work with Jagr, but I think Marleau is a character guy and he's gonna work to EARN the money. You can't continue to be gunshy and play it extra safe just because of the Jagr fiasco. So this would be an example of reasonable risk IMHO. Having Marleau and Backstrom down the middle for the next several years with AO and Semin on LW is a darn good start to being a consistent playoff participant.


Posted by: SM | June 19, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm about to see if Philadephia's gamble pays off at close hand. Just took a job up there. Have to hand it to Philly, though, they do have a commitment to winning that just doesn't seem as readily apparent in Washington. Or, at least they're much more willing (or is it intimidated by their fans?) to make the big FA splash.

I'm too far gone a masochistic Caps fan to entirely switch allegiances. It will be interesting, though, if my two small kids grow into hockey fans and adopt Philly as their team. "Daddy, won't you get beat you up if you wear that Caps jersey to the game?"

Posted by: Geauxcaps | June 19, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I agree with those who say Philly's move would not be a good one for the Caps.

I also want to see GMGM get active, but not at 10M+ for Hartnell and Timonen, long-term. Thats a significant overpayment.

If Philly wants to get back to playoffs and being a respectable team ASAP, its a good move. If they want to become a contender, I don't think its good, and I'd be pissed if the Caps start handing out long-term contracts like that.

Posted by: Vlad | June 19, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The organization is a joke & is so cheap. Let's face it, the minimum salary cap will be approximately $40 million next season. The cap is gonna be $52 million. We're nowhere near the minimum, and i think we're like 10 million under the cap floor. So how in the world are we going to reach the floor. We're just letting the free agents pass through like water in a bucket full of holes.

Posted by: blankn1612 | June 19, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Hartnell's a nice player, but by no means a super-star. I'm sure he has a lot of "grit" and I'm sure his plus-minus will always be positive.

But come on -- 25 goals in 05-06 and 22 this past season earns him a six-year contract for more than $25-million? (Yes, that's more than 4-million a year.. not to be confused with Brian Pothier, who makes 2.5, LOL)

The salary cap was intended to give every team an equal chance at contending. Instead, the cap keeps rising every year. And after only two seasons we're back at the point where only a few teams can afford to be at the top end. It's incredible to me that the league doesn't recognize this.

Unless they're stopped, stupid, undiciplined teams like the Flyers and Rangers will ruin the league and force another lock-out within a few years.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | June 19, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Timonen: 44, 50, 55 pts in each of the last three years. 8,8,8 PP goals in each of the last three years. 22, 30, 18 PP assists in each of the last three years.

Do all of you morons really think the Flyers overpaid this guy, when someone like Chara got around 7.5 million. Seriously. How many of you all would love to have Timonen on the Caps at that salary, QBing the Powerplay with Ovie and Semin and Backstrom. I think each of you who thought Philly overpaid this guy needs to reevaluate your comments. What's mind-boggling is not what Philly did, but the comments I'm reading.

Posted by: Lurch McPhee | June 19, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

One guy who's licking his lips after Timonen's signing is Ryan Whitney. He had more goals and more assists last season and he's 8 years younger. If he goes to arbitration, the Pens will be paying through the nose and I'll be loving every minute of it.

Posted by: b.orr4 | June 19, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'd hardly say it's McPhee's fault that he hasn't had much of a budget the last two years and as a result has had to go to the scrap heap to create a team. Considering the fact that well over 10% of the Caps payroll went to a player no longer on the team, and they were still the lowest payroll in the league, the fact they were as competitive as they were is actually impressive.

I would hate to be McPhee. Why? Because it doesn't matter what he does, us fans always claim he made a mistake. Back when he HAD money he went and traded for the best player in the league. He signed Lang, we had Gonchar, Bondra, Nylander, etc. That's quite the team (on paper). In the first game that Jagr played the Caps demolished the Devils (who I believe where the defending Stanley Cup champs). Then injuries struck, and it only went downhill from there. McPhee's job was to put together a team -- it's not his fault that those players couldn't get it done. Jagr admitted he didn't play to his abilities while here in DC -- that's not McPhee's fault.

So, then with the lockout looming, and a terrible team with a payroll in the top 10 (I think it was 6th, but I could be remembering wrong), he dumped all those guys. Cut the payroll to "rebuild". Perhaps I am one of few who is willing to give it more than TWO YEARS to play out. If that makes me gullible, or an eternal optimist, or a moron, or whatever, so be it.

What I WILL be unhappy about is if nothing happens this off-season. Not because I think the Caps are going to miss their opportunity to win the Stanley Cup this year, but because management SAID they were going to increase payroll and make moves. They didn't say that the last two years by my recollection.

Posted by: Jeff | June 19, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Ed Snider has always been committed to the Flyers. He owns the sixers and the flyers but who gets more attention and who is the red headed stepchild. the flyers and the sixers respectively. when you have the most rabid fans in the league, you have to keep them happy. Happiness in philly is getting in the playoffs. That means putting out the big $$$ for free agents. Don't be surprised if philly doesn't work some sort of deal to get gomez too. they are committed to getting in the playoffs every year. they live in a hockey market. we don't. so let's pick our number 5 and move on with our new uniforms and fight for the 8th seed until early march when we will fall flat on our faces in a west coast road trip. sound familiar.

Posted by: agp1975 | June 19, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The salary for Timonen is reasonable to me, but when I say 'overpaid' I suppose I should elaborate....

They overpaid in terms of YEARS for Timonen. The guy is 32 yrs old and they gave him a SIX YEAR deal.

As for Hartnell, he's still young, so the contract length is fine, but to pay the guy $4 million per year seems like a reach to me.

Posted by: SM | June 19, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Jeff,
You used the word, "Impatient" To me personally, that's the joke of the century. You see pal, I've been a Caps fan since their inception in 1974! Obviously, YOU HAVE NOT! If you had been, you most assuredly WOULD NOT have chosen THAT word to describe many, many Caps'fans frame of mind.
Yours truly,
Puckguru

Posted by: Puckguru | June 19, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

23 YEARS OF INCOMPETENCE! We are YOUR Washington Capitals!
season tickets available starting at just $15/ticket for crows nest. Others increased by 20% or more this year. Click here_____ to get hosed.

Posted by: Labre | June 19, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

on another subject...Tarik, when do you get a widget?

Posted by: The Peerless | June 19, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

You're right -- haven't been a fan since the beginning because I wasn't alive. That said, a lot of the complaints posted here are against management/ownership. They haven't been around since the beginning either.

Posted by: Jeff | June 19, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Jeff, you are one of the few who talk like they have any intelligence. It is one thing to be unhappy & complain, but to act like 3 year olds is something else. I to have been around since '74 & would like a more competitive team & I think we are finally headed in the right direction. The Caps had many very good teams in the 80s , but no goalie. I think that the current plan is working & yes, patience is now needed for another year.

Posted by: sidehillman | June 19, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Sidehillman, I keep telling myself people are intentionally posting without logic...at least, I hope that's what is going on.

Posted by: Jeff | June 19, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. Someone posted another Caps' new jersey mockup on the uniwatchblog.com website. This time, it looks like it could be part of the flash animation running on the Caps' website. Look in today's comments around #150.

I think it's a nice update of the old jersey although the colors aren't exact flag RWB.

Posted by: tallbear | June 19, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Jeff,
That's a sorry excuse. Unless I'm mistaken, regardless of who mismanaged them during what particular time, THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE VERY SAME PITIFUL, INCOMPETENT WASHINGTON CAPITALS. Get it? No more free passes here!

Posted by: puckguru | June 19, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

THE FUTURE IS NOW!!!! EXCUSES ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE! Get it?

Posted by: Puckguru | June 19, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

That jersey is plain horrible!

As for waiting another year... Sure, there will be a few who will. Their ranks are shrinking and Ted has to raise prices to keep the cashflow the same. And then next year there still will be people (albeit less) who'd wait yet another year (GMGM's 5 year plan, remember?). So Ted will raise the prices again. And then he will sell to acquire his beloved Wizards.

Posted by: Finn | June 19, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: horrible new jerseys | June 19, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

BTW, watch Ted Lameonsis and GMGM trying to sign Ovechkin on the cheap!

Posted by: Finn | June 19, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers deals were done simply because the owner set a mandate for them to "Make the Team Better". Now you can be that Gomez will be set in the Flyer sights. It's all about cash. If you are prepared to spend to fill the arena or in the Flyers case, keep the arena at capacity, then you do it with a check book and splashes not with poorly calculated draft picks.

Posted by: Cup73 | June 19, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

PuckGuru...if that's the case, why not trade Ovechkin, Semin, and everyone else with any value (who is almost the entire team because all the home-grown 'talent' is drastically underpaid) and bring in a bunch of overpaid guys who can go for the cup this year and flame out in the 1st or 2nd round? Let's mortgage the future for one year! If the future is now you don't even need those guys...right? We could be the Dallas Stars from this past year!

And sadly Finn, they might have to try to sign OV on the cheap if GMGM goes and signs all the players that would make this message board happy. If the future is now then get ready to waive goodbye to Ovechkin and Semin (and others). I'd personally prefer to build around those guys rather than spend 6 or even 7 mil now to sign a single player or two, and watch 2007/2008 mirror the Bruins year from last year.

With the salary cap (even with it going up) you can only have so many 5+ million a year players. OV will be a 7 mil a year player, Semin probably 5+ mil...so if you sign 2 players totaling 10-11 mil a season (like the Flyers) in a couple years you could have well over 20 mil going to 4 players (gotta hope that one of the in-house goalies turns into the starter 'cause if you have to spend 4 mil on a goalie too, ouch). Check with the Lightning...it's tough to fill in the rest of the holes when you've got a top-heavy roster like that.

Posted by: Jeff | June 19, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

i hope to god those arent the uniforms. theyre ugly and there is no blue

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

If this team does not contend there will be no Ovechkin or Semin to build around very soon. Who would want to waste their talent on a mediocre team with cheap owners/managers? There will be more iPod smashing and 11-in-a-row losses.

Posted by: Finn | June 19, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

There is a clear difference between contending and claiming the future is now. I think most people on this board are expecting at a minimum to see the moves necessary to make this a playoff CONTENDING team. That seems like a reasonable hope. You then build on that and become more than just a playoff team, but a team that could make noise in the playoffs, go deep in the playoffs, etc.

As long as there is improvement OV and co are likely to be happy -- plus, the Caps can match offers for a few years as OV, Semin, etc are RFA's. As long as the Caps don't spend up towards the cap limit (in an attempt to make the future now!!!), they aren't going anywhere for a few years. If the Caps haven't figured out how to build a playoff team by then all those guys SHOULD get outta DC.

Posted by: Jeff | June 19, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

blankn1612 wrote:

"The organization is a joke & is so cheap. Let's face it, the minimum salary cap will be approximately $40 million next season. The cap is gonna be $52 million. We're nowhere near the minimum, and i think we're like 10 million under the cap floor. So how in the world are we going to reach the floor. We're just letting the free agents pass through like water in a bucket full of holes."

First, as I've pointed out before, the salary cap will not be announced to the teams until June 30, so any number you throw out there is pure fiction. The belief is that it will be somewhere between 48 and 52, with most believing it will be closer to 48 million.

Second, you are correct that the Caps are well below the cap minimum, but the Caps do not have a full roster under contract right now. So your reliance on that number is flawed. I don't know the exact situation, but take your number that the Caps are under the cap minimum by $10 million, but they still have probably 7 or 8 RFAs to sign. You can't claim they are $10 million under the cap and only have 14 players signed for next year.

But why deal with facts, when what you make up makes so much more sense.

Lastly, Look for the Preds to be dismantled with Bassille (sp.) poised to buy the team and wanting to move them to Hamilton. Leopold (sp.) is gonna cut everyone loose to stop his losing of money, especially because he is about to get $240 million for a franchise he has taken huge losses on. What this all means is that you can probably add Paul Kariya to the UFA market as changing teams.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | June 19, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

There is also another version on the web. Probably something someone made up.

Posted by: Big MAC | June 19, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

There is also another version on the web. Probably something someone made up.

Posted by: Big MAC | June 19, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

There is also another version on the web. Probably something someone made up.

Posted by: Big MAC | June 19, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to avoid the usual whiny trolls for a change and just do a little whining myself about the new jerseys.

1. I guess now I'm glad that the Caps never bothered to email me that I would need a ticket for Friday. Way to go new marketing team. I won't be in a rush to buy anything with this logo on it.

2. I really like orange. But what happened to red? I remember their were even rumblings of it being a darker red like the brick red of the Avs.

3. I'm fine with the darker blue, but would have preferred bright blue with a darker red. That would be sharp.

4. Regardless, that logo is weak. It's a tighter update of the original, but lame just the same.

5. The new alternate logo looks pretty cheesy too.

I guess I can just hope this grows on me, but it's pretty darn underwhelming.

Posted by: Shmoo | June 19, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are a lot more than $10M under the salary cap. They have a rousing $13M dedicated to 07/08 salaries before they try to sign the restricted free agents. The poor performance of several like Mr. Emminger and the low amount that several others like Jurcina and Novotny (Why?) are making, means that qualifying offers will remain incredibly low and the team will be far more than $15M under the floor when they believe they have their own players signed. They have to make some kind of pricey splash or they will be in violation of the CBA. This means trading some third or fourth round picks from next year for some Zednik types who spend more time on the DL than anywhere else.

BTW, what happens if they fail to spend up to the minimum? Does Ted take out a letter to the season ticket holders explaining that what ever penalty the team has to endure is a calculated hockey decision?

Posted by: Old Bob | June 19, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, btw, dig the TSN mock draft:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11084&hubname=

We have a pretty good shot at landing Alex #3 (aka Semin on the other side) at RW or Gagner/Voracek at center.

Then again Alzner is from the WHL... :P

Posted by: Shmoo | June 19, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds like I could be in for a busy weekend at Nationwide Arena."

Tarik, does this mean the Post is actually letting you go this year? Cool.

Posted by: norske | June 19, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

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