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#1 B-town Canuck

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

The question surrounding the Vancouver Canucks has for some months been, is the window closing on this group's Stanley Cup aspirations?
Any more injuries and the queries will shift to, should the Canucks even be in the Stanley Cup conversation anymore?
Ryan Kesler -- gone for better than a month, after his third surgery in two years.
David Booth -- spent the lockout hunting bears instead of readying himself to track down the Bruins, then couldn't even make it through the first workout. His groin is shot -- his credibility remains on I.R. as well -- and he's out a month-and-a-half.
That means no second line to start the short, 48-game season in Vancouver, when it was depth and high-end skill that took the Canucks to the Cup in '11.
Even head coach Alain Vigneault had lost his sense of humour somewhat when he addressed the media on Tuesday, sans the winks and one-liners that often punctuate a Vigneault news conference.
"My job is to play with the players who are available to our team and we've got quite a few hockey players available, good hockey players," Vigneault said. "Like we've always done, we're going to find a way to make this work."
There is a school of thought that suggests Vancouver's injury woes could expedite a Roberto Luongo trade, but we see it from the opposite angle. If the offers did not please GM Mike Gillis' eye before the Booth injury was announced, they're not apt to get any better now that he's in a position of weakness.
Though it must be said, with his situation at forward, a poor start could strip Gillis of his ability to remain patient.
It's amazing, isn't it, how a club can go from Game 7 of a Stanley Cup final to the position the Canucks are in so quickly?
Entering a 48-game season minus Kesler and Booth -- with names like Mikael Samuelsson, Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo and the constant threat that was the menace Raffi Torres now in the rearview mirror -- how do you look at these Canucks the same way we did only a few months ago?
Nobody has better goaltending, with Luongo and Cory Schneider, but how long can Gillis sit on a backup of Luongo's caliber when his needs at forward are so acute?
As for the second line, we can't improve on how Jason Botchford worded it in the Vancouver Province: "When you start calling any combination of Zack Kassian, Andrew Ebbett, Mason Raymond and (Jordan) Schroeder a second line, others are going to label you desperate."
Of that group, only Raymond is a legit second line NHL player. And he's a No. 5 or 6 forward on a good team. Kassian, Ebbett and Schroeder have 207 NHL games between them, and the latter two are 5-foot-9 or shorter.
So the formula that was once in place -- where lines 2-4 were adept enough to draw the penalties that the Sedins would capitalize on -- is in jeopardy.
The Canucks No. 1 line used to wear out the opponent's top defensive pairing. And there is no reason to think that will stop.
But does Vancouver still have the advantage when the second and third lines hop the boards against second and third D-pairings? That advantage has vastly diminished, if it exists at all.
Is the unit of Chris Higgins, Maxim Lapierre and Jannick Hansen a legit second line? Or more of a third unit, when you consider that all third- and fourth-line players back in the spring of '11?
What about preparedness? Vancouver had almost nobody playing overseas or in the AHL, save for Schneider's eight games in Switzerland.
Will Jason Garrison be ample replacement for Christian Ehrhoff or Sami Salo, two mainstays the last time Vancouver was a playoff winner. Can he close a 5-on-3 as Salo used to, with one of the finest one-timers in the game?
Or does he work out the way the last two acquisitions from Florida have for Gillis, as Keith Ballard and Booth have both been expensive flops.
Inside the Northwest Division, Minnesota is a tougher foe this season, and Edmonton will likely take a few points from the Canucks that, over the past many seasons, have been a lock for Vancouver.
It is the team in blue and green that is the problem for Canucks fans right now, however. A team that was supposed to be more than a one-year wonder Cup contender.
Mark Spector is the senior columnist on sportsnet.ca







We are not as strong as we were but I think we are still contenders.
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#2 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

I'm tired of hearing about that damn window.

If the Red Wings have taught us anything, it's that there is no such thing as a "window" for a team to win.
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#3 250Integra

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

Ho Hum.


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#4 Common sense

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

"Any more injuries and the queries will shift to, should the Canucks even be in the Stanley Cup conversation anymore?"

Back-to-back President's Trophy winners says yes (they have what it takes to win over a season); multitudes of injuries says no
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#5 GarthButcher5

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

Has everyone forgot that the second line was shot at the start of 2011-2012 as well with Kesler and Raymond both out? The team still managed to perform at a high level.
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#6 DCR

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

Seeing as he missed the boat on Booth's injury. it's safe to guess he may have missed it elsewhere, too. I wouldn't give it a lot of credence.
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#7 WeDreamOfStanley

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

Holy smokes, he really throws the extremes at things... and I thought the people on CDC were bad at over the top gloom and doom
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#8 King of the ES

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:24 PM

I think this is the time where Deb chimes in and threatens to ban Mark Spector for having an opinion.

Edited by King of the ES, 16 January 2013 - 03:24 PM.

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#9 DeNiro

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:25 PM

I love how everything is so doom and gloom surrounding the Canucks all of a sudden. :lol:

This team loses two players, and all of a sudden we're not even a contender anymore? Of course Kesler is a big part of this team, but if we can't even survive a month without him, then we were never much of a contender anyways.

90% of the team is still in tact. We have one of the deepest D-cores in the West, and a goalie tandem that is envied by the entire league. Not to mention the Sedins and Burrows are ready to start passing circles around other teams. Our powerplay will still be lethal, which has been a big part of us winning in the past.

Just Eastern media guys trying to get a jab at the Canucks. Let me guess though, everythings rosey for the Leafs? There's no question marks there right? They've got Scrivens and Reimer after all. And Rielly is the next coming of Niedermeyer...
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#10 combover

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

he fails to mention in month kesler will be more rested and healthier than he's been in a season and 1/2. booth will be back and hopefully able contribute. erhoff salo are not the same players they were 2 season ago garrison is an upgrade from what salo IS. this team should be well rested for the first time in a while, injuries will happen to every team sucks it happen before the season but reality is hopefully this could mean the team gets into the playoffs heathy for the first time ever.
i would rather limp into the season than the playoffs, yea yea short season every game counts to think this team with out booth and kesler will not make the playoffs is a stretch at best. solid d, solid goaltending, one of the best top lines in the game and a solid bottom six. if the nucks miss the playoff because two players are out they don't deserve to be there anyway.

the kings/bruins proved every team is a contender once you make the playoffs.
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my warn status is for calling it like i saw it with Dave the donut Nonis. apparently the owners agreed

#11 elvis15

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

...
What about preparedness? Vancouver had almost nobody playing overseas or in the AHL, save for Schneider's eight games in Switzerland.
...

While he makes some good points, it's definitely the doom and gloom approach to sell papers. When he can't even get the facts right, I get to remind myself it's not nearly so dire.

Playing overseas or in the AHL and likely to make the team:
  • Hansen (Finland)
  • Weise (Denmark)
  • Schneider (Switzerland)
  • Raymond (albeit only 2 games)
  • Tanev (AHL)
  • Kassian (AHL)
  • Ebbett (AHL)
  • Schroeder (AHL)

Of our PTOs/signings Barker was also playing in the AHL and the Spengler Cup, Connauton in the AHL and Corrado in the OHL (both unlikely to stick however), and Pinnizotto and Lack in the AHL (both coming back from injuries currently).

Edited by elvis15, 16 January 2013 - 03:27 PM.

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#12 Noheart

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

I think this is the time where Deb chimes in and threatens to ban Mark Spector for having an opinion.


Hahah

No longer a legit source
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#13 Noheart

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

I'm tired of hearing about that damn window.

If the Red Wings have taught us anything, it's that there is no such thing as a "window" for a team to win.


Detroit can actually draft though
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#14 Noheart

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

I love how everything is so doom and gloom surrounding the Canucks all of a sudden. :lol:

This team loses two players, and all of a sudden we're not even a contender anymore? Of course Kesler is a big part of this team, but if we can't even survive a month without him, then we were never much of a contender anyways.

90% of the team is still in tact. We have one of the deepest D-cores in the West, and a goalie tandem that is envied by the entire league. Not to mention the Sedins and Burrows are ready to start passing circles around other teams. Our powerplay will still be lethal, which has been a big part of us winning in the past.

Just Eastern media guys trying to get a jab at the Canucks. Let me guess though, everythings rosey for the Leafs? There's no question marks there right? They've got Scrivens and Reimer after all. And Rielly is the next coming of Niedermeyer...


Not that I nessasarly agree with him, he does have a legit argument.

Our defense and goaltending are too dam good to not make the playoffs, I just don't think we will score like we use to until our 2nd line is back and playing for a few games.

Why do you let this stuff bother you man

Change your Av
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#15 ice orca

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

The media is in full knive in the back mode when they sense a weakness in the Canucks. The worst are the ones in Vancouver, they love to take this team down it keeps their jobs safe. The media has a right to their opinion but most of them think they could do a better job than the GMs in this league.
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#16 stawns

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

Detroit can actually draft though


schneider
edler
hansen
kesler
schroeder
bieksa
sedin
sedin
raymond
Hodgson

so can Vancouver, regardless of the ignorance of most people
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#17 Noheart

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:25 PM

schneider
edler
hansen
kesler
Schroeder
bieksa
sedin
sedin
raymond
Hodgson

so can Vancouver, regardless of the ignorance of most people


How many Wolves can play in the NHL right now

Schroeder? You serious bro? Just because hobbits are good at protecting rings doesn't make them good hockey players.What the hell would he do against weber or chara?

Kassian - I actually think he will be good one day but as for right now, that's yet to be determined

Frankie C - will develop into a a blue chip, not now though, is he even with the main camp?

Gaunce - wayyy to early to tell.

I would say that Gillis has had some tuff drafting luck.


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#18 Provost

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:36 PM

I'm tired of hearing about that damn window.

If the Red Wings have taught us anything, it's that there is no such thing as a "window" for a team to win.


I am actually tired of folks using the Red Wings example for a franchise that didn't have a window. They were a terrible team for many years. Then they got Yzerman and Lidstrom in the lineup and started winning.

It is yet to be determined how they will do now that both of those guys are gone. They have some great players, but also some serious holes on defence.

You get once in a generation players and they have 20 year careers with your team and you are going to have success. We have that with the Sedins.

We will see if Detroit continues to regularly be in the SCF and we will see in a few years whether the Canucks can continue to be one of the top teams in the league.... neither is certain.
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#19 playboi19

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

Marc Spector is back and in terrible form as usual.
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#20 thundernuts

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

Cleavage

Edited by thundernuts, 16 January 2013 - 05:01 PM.

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#21 AFrame14

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:47 PM

spector is a nucks haterso obv hes gunna write about how bad they will do.. lou will get traded for second line help and in a month or so kelser will be back. our defence is solid and with schnieds in net we have a great goalie.. canucks will be fine this year and i dont really care how we do as long as we make the playoffs relativly healthy and palying well
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#22 canuckster19

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

I hope everyone can see what the media is doing, they think we should trade Luongo to Toronto for nothing, and it's Toronto's god given right to get him for nothing and how dare Vancouver say otherwise.

How do they get Luongo for nothing? By riling up Vancouver fans to start a witch hunt if things don't go our way.
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#23 playboi19

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

I hope everyone can see what the media is doing, they think we should trade Luongo to Toronto for nothing, and it's Toronto's god given right to get him for nothing and how dare Vancouver say otherwise.

How do they get Luongo for nothing? By riling up Vancouver fans to start a witch hunt if things don't go our way.

Yup. There was a twitter war between Botchford and Damien Cox on exactly that, earlier this morning.
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#24 JustNazzy

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

The question surrounding the Vancouver Canucks has for some months been, is the window closing on this group's Stanley Cup aspirations?
Any more injuries and the queries will shift to, should the Canucks even be in the Stanley Cup conversation anymore?
Ryan Kesler -- gone for better than a month, after his third surgery in two years.
David Booth -- spent the lockout hunting bears instead of readying himself to track down the Bruins, then couldn't even make it through the first workout. His groin is shot -- his credibility remains on I.R. as well -- and he's out a month-and-a-half.
That means no second line to start the short, 48-game season in Vancouver, when it was depth and high-end skill that took the Canucks to the Cup in '11.
Even head coach Alain Vigneault had lost his sense of humour somewhat when he addressed the media on Tuesday, sans the winks and one-liners that often punctuate a Vigneault news conference.
"My job is to play with the players who are available to our team and we've got quite a few hockey players available, good hockey players," Vigneault said. "Like we've always done, we're going to find a way to make this work."
There is a school of thought that suggests Vancouver's injury woes could expedite a Roberto Luongo trade, but we see it from the opposite angle. If the offers did not please GM Mike Gillis' eye before the Booth injury was announced, they're not apt to get any better now that he's in a position of weakness.
Though it must be said, with his situation at forward, a poor start could strip Gillis of his ability to remain patient.
It's amazing, isn't it, how a club can go from Game 7 of a Stanley Cup final to the position the Canucks are in so quickly?
Entering a 48-game season minus Kesler and Booth -- with names like Mikael Samuelsson, Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo and the constant threat that was the menace Raffi Torres now in the rearview mirror -- how do you look at these Canucks the same way we did only a few months ago?
Nobody has better goaltending, with Luongo and Cory Schneider, but how long can Gillis sit on a backup of Luongo's caliber when his needs at forward are so acute?
As for the second line, we can't improve on how Jason Botchford worded it in the Vancouver Province: "When you start calling any combination of Zack Kassian, Andrew Ebbett, Mason Raymond and (Jordan) Schroeder a second line, others are going to label you desperate."
Of that group, only Raymond is a legit second line NHL player. And he's a No. 5 or 6 forward on a good team. Kassian, Ebbett and Schroeder have 207 NHL games between them, and the latter two are 5-foot-9 or shorter.
So the formula that was once in place -- where lines 2-4 were adept enough to draw the penalties that the Sedins would capitalize on -- is in jeopardy.
The Canucks No. 1 line used to wear out the opponent's top defensive pairing. And there is no reason to think that will stop.
But does Vancouver still have the advantage when the second and third lines hop the boards against second and third D-pairings? That advantage has vastly diminished, if it exists at all.
Is the unit of Chris Higgins, Maxim Lapierre and Jannick Hansen a legit second line? Or more of a third unit, when you consider that all third- and fourth-line players back in the spring of '11?
What about preparedness? Vancouver had almost nobody playing overseas or in the AHL, save for Schneider's eight games in Switzerland.
Will Jason Garrison be ample replacement for Christian Ehrhoff or Sami Salo, two mainstays the last time Vancouver was a playoff winner. Can he close a 5-on-3 as Salo used to, with one of the finest one-timers in the game?
Or does he work out the way the last two acquisitions from Florida have for Gillis, as Keith Ballard and Booth have both been expensive flops.
Inside the Northwest Division, Minnesota is a tougher foe this season, and Edmonton will likely take a few points from the Canucks that, over the past many seasons, have been a lock for Vancouver.
It is the team in blue and green that is the problem for Canucks fans right now, however. A team that was supposed to be more than a one-year wonder Cup contender.
Mark Spector is the senior columnist on sportsnet.ca







We are not as strong as we were but I think we are still contenders.


+1
I can't focus on the article though because of your signature. lol
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#25 Hafizzle

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

I'm tired of hearing about that damn window.

If the Red Wings have taught us anything, it's that there is no such thing as a "window" for a team to win.


We are not the Red Wings. The "window" does not apply to Detroit because of their excellent drafting and player development. Whenever their core gets old/moves on, they have a few excellent prospects ready to step up.

The Canucks on the other hand have a great core of players (when healthy) but we do not have that next generation of great prospects waiting to come up which means that unless something drastically changes, we are the epitome of the window closing.
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#26 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:52 PM

I am actually tired of folks using the Red Wings example for a franchise that didn't have a window. They were a terrible team for many years. Then they got Yzerman and Lidstrom in the lineup and started winning.

It is yet to be determined how they will do now that both of those guys are gone. They have some great players, but also some serious holes on defence.

You get once in a generation players and they have 20 year careers with your team and you are going to have success. We have that with the Sedins.

We will see if Detroit continues to regularly be in the SCF and we will see in a few years whether the Canucks can continue to be one of the top teams in the league.... neither is certain.


And when did they get Yzerman & Lidstrom in the lineup? About 20 years ago. And they're STILL winning. That makes the Canucks' "window" a mere toddler, at 3-5 years old.

Edited by MaximYapierre, 16 January 2013 - 10:53 PM.

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#27 oldnews

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:17 PM

I love it.
Signature Spector.
He's stirs it with the best of them - if you need some entertainment, track his scribblings and read his readers responses lol.
No one tries harder to elicit that kind of contempt.

I think he's been permanently damaged by the Oil-recoil effect of his nostalgic city of champions identity having been so rudely supplanted as Siberia, Alberta.

I can see he's coming out of his shell however. He stops just short of proclaiming the Oil as successors to the Canucks in the Northwest.
He left that to CDC's own most credible source: KIng lol.
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#28 clutesi

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

I was wondering how long it would take Spector to write another poisoned article slagging the Canucks. When his column isn't an Oilers fan blog, which it usually is, he's posting poorly written articles slagging the Canucks. This kills me "It's amazing, isn't it, how a club can go from Game 7 of a Stanley Cup final to the position the Canucks are in so quickly?"
I'd say it's a bit early to gloat about the Canucks demise. Solid teams are built on D and the Canucks currently have the best one-two goalie combination in the league and possibly the deepest D in the Western Conference.
But referring to the Spector quote didn't the Oilers tank for six straight years after making a playoff run? It's amazing, isn't it.
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#29 DeNiro

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:41 PM

We are not the Red Wings. The "window" does not apply to Detroit because of their excellent drafting and player development. Whenever their core gets old/moves on, they have a few excellent prospects ready to step up.

The Canucks on the other hand have a great core of players (when healthy) but we do not have that next generation of great prospects waiting to come up which means that unless something drastically changes, we are the epitome of the window closing.


I disagree. Hall of Famers like Yzerman and Lidstrom don't come around that often, even for Detroit.

Sure they've got alot of very talented European prospects coming up, but none of them will replace Lidstrom.

Their window started closing the moment Lidstrom announced his retirement IMO.

Edited by DeNiro, 16 January 2013 - 11:48 PM.

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