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2020-21 TEAM, MOVES & COMBINATION ANALYSIS

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nuckfanfromafrica
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The nostalgia of the last Canadian team (2010-11 Vancouver Canucks) that came close to winning it all got me thinking of the best construction and combination to replicate, given potential cap constraints, COVID-19 impact and crop of free agents available. This also factors in cap flexibility to resign upcoming big tickets in Pettersson & Hughes.

 

The 2010-11 team was "talented, bold and brash, with personality up and down the roster" Elliot Friedman. It featured a very balanced line with each line equally capable of carrying the team on any given night. AV deployed pairs with complementary 3rd forwards. A top 9 forward group and reliable aggressive bottom line. 

 

The D core was extremely mobile featuring a puck mover on each pair balanced with a 2 way partner. The defensive philosophy was to play to its strengths thus transition the puck up ice quickly, spending as little time in the defensive zone. Each pair had puck mover joining the rush as the 4th forward. 

 

Two effective power play units that could cause damage thus limiting the ability to defend just one. Each unit featured a heavy point shot, a play driver, net presence and a sniper. 

 

Going into the 2020-21 season, we already have some good pieces on the roster and in the system with no major upgrades available in free agency that wouldn't handcuff us for years to come. Minor required moves as follows:

 

PLAYERS IN:

-          Tyler Toffoli Resigned at a $5.2million AAV for 5yrs

-          Jacob Markstrom resigned at a $6million AAV for 6yrs

-          Chris Tanev resigned at a $5 AAV for 3yrs

-          Nikita Tryamkin signed at $3million AAV for 3yrs

-          Jake Virtanen resigned at a $2.9million AAV for 3yrs

-          Adam Gaudette resigned at a $1.2million AAV for 2yrs

-          Tyler Motte resigned at a $1.3million AAV for 3yrs

-          Zack MacEwen resigned at a $1million AAV for 2yr

-          Wayne Simmonds free agency signing for 1yr bet on myself contract of $2million

-          Under $1million reserve/ additions for minors: Nils Hoglander (LW), Reid Boucher(LW), Marc Michaelis(LW,C), Justin Bailey(RW) William Lockwood (C,RW), Jett Woo(RD), Jack Rathbone (LD), Linus Karlssom (Centre)***, Carson Focht, Richard Bachman (G)***, 1 free agent veteran center, free agent veteran goaltender (Michael Hutchinson)

 

PLAYERS OUT:

-          Loui Eriksson via compliance buyout or retirement or trade to a team seeking to reach the floor but with a small actual salary been paid. Some low budget team would find it appealing for a 7th round pick or futures

-          Sven Baertschi via trade for a 7th. Has just one more season to free agency. Worth a risk for some team as it will be his contract year (potentially NYI)

-          Brandon Sutter via trade for a 3rd round pick (potentially Montreal)

-          Antoine Roussel via trade for a 5th round pick (potentially NJD, NYI, CBJ)

-          Via free agency: Louis Domingue (G), Uscar Fantenberg (D), Tyler Graovac (Center), Josh Leivo (RW, LW),

 

ADDITIONS FROM WITHIN THE SYSTEM:

-           Zack MacEwen

-           Olli Juolevi - adds puck moving to the team. Ehrhoff got the opportunity in Vancouver and excelled. Kid needs the opportunity now.

-           Guillaume Brisebois - adds a young left D Tanev

 

 

TEAM COMPOSITION AND SALARY CAP

-          Roster size of 23 composed of 13 forwards and 8 defense

-          Forward groups consist of 4 natural Centers and 3 other forwards that can play in the middle for a potential total of 7 center men.

-          4 forwards that can play either sides of the wing

--          Total Salary Cap of $77,221,539 that’s including Ryan Spooners buyout of $1,033,333 (falls off after this season) and recapture fee of $3,033,206 for Luongo. Cap space of $4,278,461 remaining assuming cap is same.  

 

FORWARD GROUP AND REASONING:

 

Roster

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
VAN
Ferland, Micheal
$3,500,000
LW, RW
NMC
UFA - 3
VAN
Pettersson, Elias
$925,000
C
RFA - 1
VAN
Boeser, Brock
$5,875,000
RW
RFA - 2
VAN
Pearson, Tanner
$3,750,000
LW
UFA - 1
VAN
Horvat, Bo
$5,500,000
C
UFA - 3
VAN
Toffoli, Tyler
$5,200,000
RW, LW
UFA
VAN
Virtanen, Jake
$2,900,000
RW
RFA
VAN
Gaudette, Adam
$1,200,000
C
RFA
VAN
Miller, J.T.
$5,250,000
C, LW, RW
UFA - 3
VAN
Motte, Tyler
$1,300,000
RW, LW, C
RFA
VAN
Beagle, Jay
$3,000,000
C
M-NTC
UFA - 2
Simmonds, Wayne
$2,000,000
RW
 
 
VAN
MacEwen, Zack
$1,000,000

 

Pettersson and Boeser pair with a complementary piece in Ferland.

 

 

 

Petterson adds puck wizardry to the line, elite passing ability to go along with a great release and shot. He is defensively responsible, likes to hang onto pucks to create plays and is most effective as the play driver similarly to H. Sedin

 

Boeser adds play finisher role similarly to D. Sedin. Adds a heavy shot and hockey smarts. Needs to differ to Pettersson and find open space.

 

 

 

-          Nose for the net and acting as screen for Boeser and Pettersson shots.Create space on the ice  and puck retrieval role similarly to Burrows/Hansen. Adds physicality (Bull on Pucks). Has an underrated play making ability. Good passer with soft hands around the net, high IQ and responsible defensively. Also adds the Torries effect to the line up(canon ball effect)

 

Tanner Pearson – Horvat pair with complementary piece in Toffoli.

Horvat is not yet at the beast mode level of 2010-11 Kesler. However the combination above adds a similar strong 2 way presences. Mimicking the cup winning LA 70s line doesn’t hurt, with Horvat playing the shot first centerman Carter role. 

 

adds strong left wall presence and underrated heavy shot. Strong defensively and plays a heavy hockey style

 

Strong 2-way player that is strong on the right walls. Excellent playmaking ability from the wing and in the middle as a centerman. High IQ, great release and a nose for the net. Defensively responsible and plays a heavy hockey style

Good defensively and plays a heavy game. Likes to bull himself to the net with a shot first mentality

 

Jake Virtanen – JT Miller pair with a complementary piece in Gaudette.

Similar to a grittier version of the Virtanen-Pettersson- Miller line. Pettersson had less touches on that line. A role that Gaudette can fill . Miller has taking Virtanen under his wings as they both had similar growth path. The impact on Virtanen has been amazing and has turned him back to the WHL player that was drafted 6th overall.

 

Miller serves as the strong vocal mentor on the line. Carrying his own line. Has an underrated faceoff ability. Excellent playmaker that can play all 3 forward positions effectively. Likes to be the play driver on his line. Can play the middle with Gaudette moving to the right wall

 

Most effective on the Left side as it allows him to use his speed more. Plastering opposing team on the wall with his stick facing right. Has a great release coming from the left wall. Adds speed and puck retrieval to the line along with underrated passing ability from the left side

 
 
 

Kid loves to score. Has determination and drive to win. Work horse that complements Miller and speed to keep up with Virtanen

 

A Bottom pair of Mott and Simmonds centered by Beagle. Beagle with the strong face off presence. Simmonds with the grit and Motte with the tenacity.

 

RESERVE VERSATILE 13TH FORWARD THAT CAN PLAY UP AND DOWN THE LINE UP

 

DEFENSIVE COMBINATION 

 

Left Defense Right Defense Goaltender
VAN
Edler, Alexander
$6,000,000
D
NMC
UFA - 1
VAN
Myers, Tyler
$6,000,000
D
M-NTC
UFA - 4
VAN
Markström, Jacob
$6,000,000
G
UFA
VAN
Hughes, Quinn
$916,667
D
RFA - 1
undefined
Tryamkin, Nikita
$3,000,000
D
VAN
Demko, Thatcher
$1,050,000
G
RFA - 1
VAN
Juolevi, Olli
$863,333
D
RFA - 1
undefined
Tanev, Christopher
$5,000,000
D
 
VAN
Brisebois, Guillaume
$925,000
D
RFA
VAN
Benn, Jordie
$2,000,000
Edit
D
UFA - 1
 
 
 

Edler & Myer pair - Edler playing the Jacob Trouba role for Myers.

-          Puck mover that has a tendency to sneak in from the points to around the net

-          Likes to be in on the play. Plays a more rover style. Has long reach. Good Skater

-          His defensive partner tends to be the one manning the point

-          Needs a staple two way defensive partner

-          Good slap shot.

-          Physical at times

-          Good hockey IQ. Can read off smart players

-          A little slower on skates hence more effective in a stay home style, occasionally joining the rush in a clear advantage

 

Hughes - Tree Combo - Your present day potential Erhoff - Edler pair with more dynamic puck moving.

 

 

-          Wizard with the puck. Likes to hold on to pucks to make plays.

-          A playmaking center playing on defence

-          Likes to take slap shots. Still work in progress

-          Effective at walking the line

-          One man puck breaking moving machine

-          Extremely mobile. Left Shot that plays effectively on his off wing (the rightside). This allows him to talk the body more effectively on opposing forwards along the boards

-          Good at clearing the net/over powering forwards around the crease

-          Plays a more stay at home style but can move the puck of ice if required. Jumps up on plays in the right time and can get back on defensive with his skating

-          Long reach

 

Olli Juolevi – Tanev Pair. Veteran partner for up and coming 2 way puck mover that can block shots

 

-          Good defensively

-          Great shot blocker, skater

-          Good puck mover and calming influence on partner. Allows partners to join the rush as a cover for defensive lapses

-          Good underutilized wrist shot, puck mover and passer. High IQ

-          Like to use wrist shot from the center. Good at walking the line and getting his shot across. Quick release on his write shot

-          Effective puck mover with good passing skils. Effective at getting cross ice passes from the left side to an open teammate on the Right cycle dot or front of the net. Would be effective passer to a LW sniper playing on his offside on the right dot (i.e Pettersson)

-          High hockey IQ, good skater

 

7TH & 8TH D RESERVES

 

POWER PLAY COMBINATION

features 2 equally effective units that can be deployed equally thus driving internal competition to be the best unit. Each unit features a Quarterback  D man that walks the line, a heavy point shot, net presence, both walls snipers.

 

Pettersson Unit:

Pettersson - Left cycle shot and Forward QB from the left cycle (think H Sedin) feeding the big Right shot D in Myers (think Salo) and the middle bumper/net presence in Ferland

Juolevi - left point feeds to pettersson on the right cycle and wrist shots from the point

Toffoli - left cycle shot and below the net presence from the left with net drive for double screens for points from the point

Ferland - net screen cleaning up rebounds. Bumper to feed Toffoli on the left cycle

 

Q Hughes Unit:

Hughes - unit QB and rover

Boeser - Left cycle threat and rotation to the point and middle

Miller - playmaker feeding the point and cross ice feed to Boeser. Right cycle shot from  feeds from Edler. Moving down low on the right side as a setup man for Horvat

Edler - heavy point shot

Horvat - Net presence and bumper

 

Power Play 1
 
Toffoli, T.
Ferland, M.
Pettersson, E.
 
Juolevi, O.
Myers, T.
 
Power Play 2
 
Boeser, B.
Horvat, B.
Miller, J.
 
Hughes, Q.
Edler, A.

 

 

 

 

Penalty Kill 1
 
 
Beagle, J.
Motte, T.
 
Edler, A.
Tanev. C.
 
Penalty Kill 2
 
 
Horvat, B.
Virtanen, J.
 
Tryamkin, N.
Myers, T.
Edited by nuckfanfromafrica
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Why is Tryamkin getting more money than Virtanen? Guy has done little at the NHL level. Had one full NHL season, that he showed up out of shape for but nobody mentions yet constantly bring it up for Jake. Also Jake was on pace for 20+ goals, 40+ points. But a 3rd pairing guy that was outta the league for the last 3 years deserves more money? Maybe I’m crazy. 

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9 hours ago, Kevin Biestra said:

I like the forward thinking involved, but I don't think anyone is giving us anything, even a 7th rounder, to take on the Baertschi contract.  We'd be lucky if we only had to give a 7th rounder for someone to take it.

Some team may take a chance on him given how he has performed in the minors. Given he is a free agent after this season may give him the extra motivation to perform. It is not unusual for a player to exceed expectation in a contract year. Furthermore the risk of him not, limits the risk for a potential suitor to this season only. A swap of a 7th for a lower pick (say Vancouver 6th) may get it done.

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2 hours ago, N7Nucks said:

Why is Tryamkin getting more money than Virtanen? Guy has done little at the NHL level. Had one full NHL season, that he showed up out of shape for but nobody mentions yet constantly bring it up for Jake. Also Jake was on pace for 20+ goals, 40+ points. But a 3rd pairing guy that was outta the league for the last 3 years deserves more money? Maybe I’m crazy. 

You are right in a normal sense, Virtanen would be making more. However Defensemen are valued differently that forwards. Tryamkin adds an enticing element of size, physicality & mobility that puts him ahead of Virtanen at this time. Myers has a higher AAV than a lot of NHL forwards that have a higher point production. Additional Virtanen needs that extra motivation to be more. the lure of a bigger payday.

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This is more wishful thinking. It it is a lot harder to get rid-off the player you list who are under contract. It will likely cost us some prospects or draft picks to the shed some of the cap spaces. Ferland is a big question mark and as much as I wish for him to return to the line up, I just don't know until he actually plays a handful of games without getting any concussion related symptoms. I would not pencil him in on the 1st line. There is no way Miller gets 3rd line minutes with the year he had, him and Pettersson were the most dominant forwards playing on a line together, so there is no way JT doesn't stick on the top line with Petey and Brock. I do like the players you choose to bring back and resign though, I think they are the ones I would want to keep as well.

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23 minutes ago, ruilin96 said:

This is more wishful thinking. It it is a lot harder to get rid-off the player you list who are under contract. It will likely cost us some prospects or draft picks to the shed some of the cap spaces. Ferland is a big question mark and as much as I wish for him to return to the line up, I just don't know until he actually plays a handful of games without getting any concussion related symptoms. I would not pencil him in on the 1st line. There is no way Miller gets 3rd line minutes with the year he had, him and Pettersson were the most dominant forwards playing on a line together, so there is no way JT doesn't stick on the top line with Petey and Brock. I do like the players you choose to bring back and resign though, I think they are the ones I would want to keep as well.

no doubt it is working on the premise that Ferland returns to full health (hope the best for him). Brandon Sutter still has NHL value. Giving up a 3rd or later round is quite possible. I believe Tampa gave up a 1st for a few bottom forwards. Roussel can still help a team. Admit Baertschi might be a bit harder. 

 

Absolutely JT Miller deserves to play on a first line. However the combinations are based on potentially dominate top 9 forward combinations and pairs. Pettersson-Boeser pair, Horvat-Toffoli/Pearson pair, Virtanen-JT Miller pair. Was not looking at the traditional 1st, 2nd - 3rd line sense. 5v5, Special team deployments still allows the top players their 17+ mins a night.

  

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11 hours ago, Kevin Biestra said:

I like the forward thinking involved, but I don't think anyone is giving us anything, even a 7th rounder, to take on the Baertschi contract.  We'd be lucky if we only had to give a 7th rounder for someone to take it.

The Canucks waived Baer. No one took him for free.

I get it his contract has one year left however he's still not good.

It will be difficult to drop all the players mentioned in the proposal.

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1 hour ago, nuckfanfromafrica said:

no doubt it is working on the premise that Ferland returns to full health (hope the best for him). Brandon Sutter still has NHL value. Giving up a 3rd or later round is quite possible. I believe Tampa gave up a 1st for a few bottom forwards. Roussel can still help a team. Admit Baertschi might be a bit harder. 

 

Absolutely JT Miller deserves to play on a first line. However the combinations are based on potentially dominate top 9 forward combinations and pairs. Pettersson-Boeser pair, Horvat-Toffoli/Pearson pair, Virtanen-JT Miller pair. Was not looking at the traditional 1st, 2nd - 3rd line sense. 5v5, Special team deployments still allows the top players their 17+ mins a night.  

I COULD see Miller being a mentor to Adam and Jake on the 3rd line from time to time, but based on last season it appeared that Ferland and Pete/ Boeser's play style didn't gel, while Miller's cerebral play clicked really well with Pete, and we might need his 59% face-offs to help Pete in match-up line situations. 

As much as we would like to have J.T. mentor the kids, we might be weakening two lines by putting a square peg with round slots on the first line -- sure the 3rd line would be really good, but would Ferland be able to have the same effect?  I mean just imagining Ferland and Virtanen flying down the wings and terrorizing opposing defenses with their physical forecheck is exciting, as is the continuation of a breakout Lotto Line with an elite face-off presence that may be needed for continued success.  I'm not saying that there's no way that your suggestions would work but until Ferland proves his suitability for the first unit he could work just as well on the 3rd.  We could also groom Adam's face-offs by having him take quite a few as the 3rd line guy (plus he and Jake can also be the dynamic duo on that unit as he's quite creative and Jake can finish his passes off the rush). 

Edited by Phil_314
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2 hours ago, nuckfanfromafrica said:

no doubt it is working on the premise that Ferland returns to full health (hope the best for him). Brandon Sutter still has NHL value. Giving up a 3rd or later round is quite possible. I believe Tampa gave up a 1st for a few bottom forwards. Roussel can still help a team. Admit Baertschi might be a bit harder. 

 

Absolutely JT Miller deserves to play on a first line. However the combinations are based on potentially dominate top 9 forward combinations and pairs. Pettersson-Boeser pair, Horvat-Toffoli/Pearson pair, Virtanen-JT Miller pair. Was not looking at the traditional 1st, 2nd - 3rd line sense. 5v5, Special team deployments still allows the top players their 17+ mins a night.

  

I would actually like to see Leivo being brought back at less than $2 million than bring in Simmonds. Save cap space and I have not been a fan of Simmonds game for like a year and half now and he would just keep on declining.

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43 minutes ago, Phil_314 said:

I COULD see Miller being a mentor to Adam and Jake on the 3rd line from time to time, but based on last season it appeared that Ferland and Pete/ Boeser's play style didn't gel, while Miller's cerebral play clicked really well with Pete, and we might need his 59% face-offs to help Pete in match-up line situations. 

As much as we would like to have J.T. mentor the kids, we might be weakening two lines by putting a square peg with round slots on the first line -- sure the 3rd line would be really good, but would Ferland be able to have the same effect?  I mean just imagining Ferland and Virtanen flying down the wings and terrorizing opposing defenses with their physical forecheck is exciting, as is the continuation of a breakout Lotto Line with an elite face-off presence that may be needed for continued success.  I'm not saying that there's no way that your suggestions would work but until Ferland proves his suitability for the first unit he could work just as well on the 3rd.  We could also groom Adam's face-offs by having him take quite a few as the 3rd line guy (plus he and Jake can also be the dynamic duo on that unit as he's quite creative and Jake can finish his passes off the rush). 

JT Miller and Pettersson no doubt are great players in their own right, and in a traditional sense, you want your best players playing together on a line. When you actually look at and analyze the lotto line 5on5 play you start to see that true synergy wasn't there. 

 

Miller controlled the play on ice. Preferring to slow the play down at times. A dump & chase style at times that was ill suited to boeser & pettersson to keep up with. Pettersson at times went away from the puck carrier role weaving his way on the rush. Each player (Pettersson & Miller) actually created a majority of their own scoring chance independent of each other that could have worked with any other linemate.

 

IMO the Miller - Pettersson - Toffoli  & Miller - Pettersson - Virtanen lines were more effective than the lotto line because the complementary piece on the lines, that worked with Miller on ice play control, was strength on the walls in Toffoli/Virtanen. 

 

Saying that, we can load up a top line in games (if chasing a lead) in the form of Miller - Pettersson - Toffoli. A healthy Ferland is an excellent complementary to skilled top players (look back to his time playing on the top line in Calgary & in Carolina). I believe he played on a line with Pettersson during preseason. New to the team at the time and still adjusting.

 

Absolutely the idea of having Ferland & Virtanen banging away is enticing. However the penalty called against would be a lot. Furthermore it takes Virtanen away from playing the left wall, a position that Ferland also would need to play. The idea was based on a scoring top 9 with an energy bottom 3

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I agree with the player contract values. Something to consider for the cap is the bonus overages from this season carrying over to next season. I think it's about 1.7 million if I remember correctly. So don't sign Simmonds and we are at about 4.5 million in cap space left from this point.

 

I don't agree with your trades because I don't think they will happen. Lucky if we do, but unlikely. If we trade any of those players, I imagine there will be cap retention. Baertschi may be bought out or have 50% retained in a trade, so we are looking at 1.7 of cap space for him next year either way. Sutter may have been tradable had we finished the year, but not sure now. Roussel may be tradeable and might be our best bet to move. So assuming neither are moved, we would be 4.5 million over the cap. Ferland may hit LTIR bringing us back to 1 million over the cap. So between trying to squeeze out some extra dollars from contracts (eg Tryamkin gets 2.75, Markstrom signs for 5.5, Tanev signs for 4.75) or we indeed trade Sutter and/or Roussel with some retention, we should be able to make things work. I think if we keep both forwards, then we have 14 forwards, which would force a dman out. So either we save on Brisebois/OJ not in the lineup or we waive Benn and save a million+.

 

As for the lineups, we all have our opinions. Green shakes things up anyway when needed, so for me it's not really worth fretting over.

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1 hour ago, ruilin96 said:

I would actually like to see Leivo being brought back at less than $2 million than bring in Simmonds. Save cap space and I have not been a fan of Simmonds game for like a year and half now and he would just keep on declining.

He was a good player that has declined rapidly - would also stay away from him - roster spots are important and do not think he is worth the risk. Agree with those above that think dumping Bear and if they have not mentioned it, Sutter too and getting anything back.  We would likely have to pay in both these deals.  OJ is not ready to play full time, next year we might get to see him play some NHL games but no way is he ready for a bottom pairing or regular job yet, if he is then that would be a huge bonus for us.  And on LE...he is our cap kryptonite and do not think we will see him off the books next year...maybe the following one but with two years left it seems doubtful - and its even more doubtful the league will pass around compliance buyouts given whats going on a the moment.  It lowers the revenue split for everyone, both owners and players would have to be ok with it and can see why both would not be happy with it.  Not every team has  a need for a mulligan, why would those owners be ok with this- plus some owners pockets are not as deep as others - plus it counts against the cap as far as the 50 50 split goes so the NHLPA might not be game either...especially with the possibility of roll-backs looming.  IF it was that easy to dump Bear and Sutter and LE .... well JB would have already done it.  Like the optimism but really do not see much of this happening, at least at the suggested trade value.

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Do not want Wayne Simmond,  very very slow at this point of  his career..Big no..

Can't sign Markstrom 30 yrs old to a 6 year contract at 6 million... Top 5.5 million x 4 yrs max....Don't want to lock a goalie up for 6 yrs at 30yrs old..

There are a few good goalies Lahner 28 yrs old could sign for 3 yrs 5.5 million and keep Demko...There are options plan B

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For me Michael Ferland is similar to Derek Dorsett and should be thinking about his future health,neck injuries and concussions are no joke and we have heard about there harmful effects.

 

However,if Michael is totally cleared to play and is feeling himself again then let the big cat play and hope it's the right move for all going forward.

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