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August 21, 2008


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Sounds like AA and EG are working themselves into Renney's favor. You don't here Renney ever say that he almost doesn't have to watch someone anymore or that he loves a guy because "he just plays"! It sounds to me that these two are part of the Rangers long term goals. 6'-3", 210 lbs and only 18 years old? WOW. These are two reasons NOT to get Sundin, who will be gone in 2 years at best. Zippy did a great job and thanks to him and BB for getting this into the Sept issue, looking forward to it.

Anisimov seems to be very close and if we sign Sundin(yes!) he's another they should consider playing on the wing. Makes you realize how utterly ridiculous Roszival.s contract is when you see Bouwmeester getting 4.8: I mean who would you rather have. Get rid of Rosy. Steve McCarthy and Mezei are still out there and could come cheap and who knows maybe Pock and Potter are ready to take that next step too. Slats must have been smoking up when he gave Roszival that contract!

RB 32 goals & 43 assists in 74 games by Sundin last season.

And thanks to you and Steve for giving me some good hockey news in the middle of August. I'm more excited than I was last year.

BONES don't give up. Word is The FAN in Canada is speculating it's a done deal.

Will Rangers management feel that a two year Sundin deal could be 'stop gap' kind of move until the younger players are ready for the NHL? I believe that was said about Jagr's role over the last three years...buy some time until the youth develops. While JJ not only did that and brought the Rangers back into the post season, will management continue to think along those lines? One thing about the Rangers is that they do not rush players along and that's probably not going to change. While it appears that we have some good young talent with good potential they will still have to go through the development process. With the exception of maybe Cherepanov, who may never play in the NHL, I don't think the Rangers have a player that is going to bypass the development process and jump right into the NHL.

Man, every time the Sundin deal comes up it points to Rozsival as being the guy out. From the financial aspect clearing the 5 mill I can clearly see, but given the current defense, how do the Rangers fill that hole. We can say that Rozy may not be worth the 5 mill but he is an adequate defensemen that people feel may even have a chance to play better as a second pair defensemen behind Wade Redden. This one is a tough call...is the help in Hartford or who else is available cheaply to fill the hole if he gets traded?

My objection to Sundin is he is just a band-aid. So for two years we have a old guy that can score goals, SO WHAT? If Anisimov is ready, and Korpo is ready, then I want them playing instead of a 38 year old guy that will take up cap space, keep younger players in Hartford instead of getting NHL experience and only be around for another year or so. Like JJ, Sather should not sign this guy to a muiti-year deal. If he does, he should have done that with Jagr instead of trying a "new face", especially after JJ developed chemistry with Dubinsky. Yes, Sundin could help us, but is it worth the price we will pay in developing the youthful team that the Rangers are trying to develop? I don't think so. You Sundin lovers are truly not willing to build from within, you need to have a big name player and you want a cup right now. Adding Sundin will not bring a cup, end of story. Getting rid of Rozi will not improve the team. For 7 to 8 years the Rangers had the best team on paper. Unfortunatly, the game is played on ice and we never made the playoff with those "high profile" teams. Just stay the course, be calm, give the management a chance. We've been in the playoffs the last 3 years, so something is working right. Last seasons hope for a cup was simply a dream. The team just wasn't that good. The non-Jagr era has started, lets not start the "Sundin era". Lets start the Dubinsky or Anisimov or Callahan or Gomez era. The team has 4 players over 30 (I think), we are young, fast and ready to move forward. Just stay true to the goal of building from within and we should be fine.

All the anti-Rozsival folks never comment on his REAL PERFORMANCE. Lets just take a look at it. Since he came to the Rangers he has scored 61% of his career goals, 63% of his career assists in a Rangers jersey. That's 3 out of the last 7 years. He is a career +48, but as a NY Ranger he is a +45! His last 3 years have been his best. He finished tied for 7th among defensemen in goals scored, 11th in shooting percent and 21st overall among D'men. This is some kind of "trash" you just through out? If you don't like the guy, just say so. But don't discount what he has done for this team since he got here. He has been the best overall defenseman we have had over the past 3 years. He is not a top defenseman, but he comes to play every game and most of the time does his job well. Let him go to make cap room for a 38 year old and a big mistake will have been made.

RB calm your shorts down, I doubt Rozival will be traded. Sather has to get rid of Kalinin & some forwards first.

I really want Sundin, but not at the expense of Rozsival.

No Sundin!!!! Another oldie---and why??? For 7 million---and why????

If Slats couldn't give Jagr 7 million why give it to Sundin???


Look, I'm just tired of all the bads put on a guy who doesn't deserve it. Kalinin isn't going anywhere either. Sather doesn't sign anybody and then trade them before the organization even gets to evaluated them up front and in person. If Sundin cames into the Rangers locker room, it will be via a trade to move salaries in exchange for more youngsters. I don't see that happening. In fact, I don't see Sundin playing in NY, either. Now if a deal could be made for Gaborik, then that would require some heavy weighing of options. Not only would we need to shed dollars, but we would also need to give up some young wings and/or defensemen.

just got an email with the following press release from the rangers:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that Adam Graves, Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell will have their jerseys retired in two separate on-ice ceremonies during the 2008-09 season.

The organization will retire jersey No. 9 in honor Graves prior to the Rangers – Atlanta Thrashers game on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009. This will be the last number retired from the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship team. Then, on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, the Blueshirts will retire jersey No. 9 and jersey No. 3 in honor of Bathgate and Howell, respectively, prior to the Rangers – Toronto Maple Leaf game.

"Adam Graves is one of the most beloved players to ever don a New York Rangers sweater," stated Sather. "Off the ice, there isn’t a finer person. His effort and production as a hockey player was nothing short of triumphant and, even today, his dedication to the community is incomparable. We are proud to have Adam join his fellow 1994 Stanley Cup Champion teammates Mike Richter, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch, as well as legends Rod Gilbert and Eddie Giacomin, as his number is raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden."

Graves, the two-time Rangers’ MVP (1993 and 1994) who retired from professional hockey following the 2002-03 season after a memorable 17-year career, now serves in the Rangers Hockey and Business Operations departments.

Graves set the franchise record for most goals in a season with his 52-goal campaign in 1993-94 (since broken by Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06), and ranks third in career goals (280) and 10th in points (507). Graves has also won several Rangers’ awards in recognition of his contribution to the community, including the Steven McDonald Award (1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, and 2000), the Rangers Fan Club Ceil Saidel Memorial Award (1996, 1997 and 2000) and the Crumb Bum Award (1993).

Graves appeared in 1,152 career games with the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, and San Jose Sharks, registering 329 goals and 287 assists for 616 points, along with 1,224 penalty minutes. Graves was selected to participate in the 1994 NHL All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden, and was honored with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1994), the NHL Foundation Award (2000) and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (2001).

Graves is also a two-time, Stanley Cup Champion in 1989-90 with Edmonton and in 1993-94 with the Rangers. He was an integral part of the Rangers’ magical run to the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship, registering 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points in 23 matches.

Just a few weeks later, Graves’ will be joined in the rafters by Bathgate and Howell.

"Rangers history is enriched by players like Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell, who laid the foundation for what a Rangers player should be,” stated Sather. "They will now take their rightful place in The Garden rafters alongside those players who have carried their tradition throughout the years."

Bathgate, who played 12 seasons with the New York Rangers from 1952-53 to 1963-64 and served as Captain from 1961 to 1964, established himself as one of the most prolific scorers to don the Rangers sweater. He became the first Rangers player to register 40 goals in one season in 1958-59, and ranks fourth in career goals (272), assists (457) and points (729). Bathgate also holds the franchise record for most consecutive games with at least one goal, tallying a goal in 10-straight contests during the 1962-63 seasons (11 goals over the span).

Bathgate appeared in 1,069 career games with the Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, and Pittsburgh Penguins, registering 349 goals and 624 assists for 973 points, along with 624 penalty minutes. As a Ranger, Bathgate was selected to participate in eight NHL All-Star games (1957-1964) and was honored with the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP during the 1958-59 season. The four-time Rangers MVP (1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, and 1961-62) tied Bobby Hull for the NHL scoring title in 1961-62. Twice-named to the NHL First All-Star Team (1958-59 and 1961-62), Bathgate was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978.

Howell, who played 17 seasons with the New York Rangers from 1952-53 to 1968-69 and served as Captain from 1955 to 1957, established the benchmark for consistency and durability in the Rangers organization. He holds the franchise record with 1,160 games played, missing only 40 out of 1,200 regular season games during his tenure in New York. Howell also ranks fifth in Rangers history in assists by a defenseman (263) and points by a defenseman (345), and ranks sixth in goals by a defenseman (82).

Howell appeared in 1,411 career games with the Rangers, Oakland Seals, California Golden Seals, and Los Angeles Kings, recording 94 goals and 324 assists for 418 points, along with 1,298 penalty minutes. Howell enjoyed his greatest success on Broadway during the 1966-67 season, winning the Norris Trophy and being named to the NHL First All-Star Team.

The 1963-64 Rangers MVP was also among the most popular players in club history, winning the Frank Boucher Trophy as the team’s most popular player in three-straight seasons from 1965 to 1967. Howell, who represented the Rangers in the NHL All-Star game six times (1954, 1963-1965 and 1967-1968), was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.

Graves, Bathgate and Howell will join Rod Gilbert (7), Eddie Giacomin (1), Mike Richter (35), Mark Messier (11), and Brian Leetch (2) as the only Rangers players to have their jersey numbers retired. Gilbert’s No. 7 was first to ascend to The Garden rafters on October 14, 1979; Giacomin’s No. 1 on March 15, 1989; Richter’s No. 35 on February 4, 2004; Messier’s No. 11 on January 12, 2006; and most recently Leetch’s No. 2 on January 24, 2008.

very classy move honoring bathgate and howell as well

it's something that should have been done a long time ago

its good to see Bathgate get his name up w/ #9 as well with all he had done. i dont see why him and Graves arent the same night. so when do you think Rozi turns in his #3. before the season or just before the retirment

HAHAHAHA 7 mills for sundin??????Ill persnoally going to smack Sather if he dares to sign

If Sundin does end up in a Ranger uniform, then I expect AA to make a legitimate push for the 3rd line center, with Dubi at 2nd line center and Drury moving to the wing.

Nobody ever asks us LOL but in our book, Grachev's future is at wing.

I got to see him playing in Vancouver a couple of years back against an all-star team and this kid's hockey instincts at 17 were impressive.

In the 3rd period of the game, Grachev was a one man wrecking crew as he loved the physical game as if was like to him discovering Xmas for the first time.

He is also playing for Stan Butler in Brampton and all Butler ever does is develop NHL players.

I say Grachev is a more talented version of the Av's Wojecki.

Both were the same size when they got to Brampton, both have all the tools and if you did not know Wojecki set just about every Brampton scoring record there is.

My only concerns about the kid is (A) adjusting to not the North American game but the lifestyle and (B) that Grachev tries to rush his adjustment to said life.

It is one thing to say that you want to come here but sometimes that adjustment to culture changes can be too much for a teenager

And oops on us the player we were comparing Grachev to is the Av's Wojtek Wolski.

Sorry about that as we were working on the prospect report at the time

jas did you forget Gomez?

Jess, I agree completely on Grachev moving to wing. His size, style of play, and skating all make it a no-brainer to me (of course I say this having only seen him play in one game from the U-18s last spring, so take that for what it's worth!) Anisimov, on the other hand, is clearly best suited to be a center, and I can't see him being moved to wing for anything more than a very short term. His greatest asset is how he sees the game at both ends of the ice, and to moving him to wing would be doing him a disservice.


or he meant to say if Sundin is NOT coming...

Jess, is there someone on junior teams who helps new players with off-the-ice issues? In Grachev situation, do you have any knowledge if someone has taken him in?

Great to see the Rangers honoring Andy Bathgate, who was one of my all time favorite Rangers when I was a kid. He and Dean Prentice were magic! RB-- sometimes your assertions and assumptions seem way off base to me. Becuse I want Sundin that means I don't want to build from within? Not true, but you just can't load up a team with all young guys and expect it to work. All young players need mentors and leaders just like a Justin Tuck and an Osi Umenioyora need a Michael Strahan or a young Eli Manning needs a Kurt Warner. I didn't see Sundin getting in the way of youth for the Make Believes. In fact, the younger players there idolized him. As for your arguments on behalf of Roszival, diud we not here all the same arguments for Malik? Guess we should bring him and his great plus/minus back too. Fact is in the defensive zone Rosy is a major liability. Guys go around him like he's standing still. He's soft as merda for a Dman and VASTLY overrated. As Disraeli said, "there are lies, damned lies and statistics." Having Sundin skating on our top line makes me very excited. It makes me excited for the season. It's an important piece in forging a very good team. If Anisimov and Korpikoski are ready they will be there when the season opens. Experience says take your time and remember Malhotra & Blackburn when you think of that. Oh, BTW folks, Andy Bathgate(the original's grandson) will be playing in the OHL this year. Would be fabulous if he became a Ranger too.

Kovazub---Teams in the OHL usually billet players with good families, so they get good meals and have people to look after their needs.

Hey Dubi,
The article you posted at BB has a minor mistake in it. You have the retirement date for Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell as Feb 2. I'm pretty sure it is actually Feb 22.
Hope this helps,


I am not sold on Anisimov as a center until that body of his fills out.

Right now I am worried that he is too skinny to handle the pounding of being a center (scary but it seems Renney agrees)


As Bones posted the folks in the OHL tend to be very careful in who they select to become billet families.

It is that way for all of the CHL leagues for example look here at what once has to do in order to become a billet for Prince Edward Island in the QMJHL



You are right they do try to find the best families but in the case of Grachev, the concern (expressed even by the Battalion) is that this is their first Russian player so it is a tad harder to set him up than the normal billets.

As for Bathgate's grandson, he will be playing for the Bulls in the OHL.


No offense to others in the media who are talking about the Bathgate night being overdue BUT

I just wanted to point out that some magazine named Blueshirt Bulletin has been calling for Bathgate's number to be raised even before Dubi took over here.

Also wanted to point out that it was the Blueshirt Bulletin that had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Bathgate.

To give you an idea how classy he is, Bathgate wanted to talk more about trying to get help for another former Ranger and friend of his Dean Prentice being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Rangers history really has been neglected on the Dolan's watch unless it helped them make money.

Great news for Bathgate and Howell but how do you have Gilbert's number up there without Jean Ratelle's?

Rod Gilbert was a great player but Ratelle was his center and number 19 belongs up there as well.

Great to hear about Howell and Bathgate. They deserve it, and yes, Ratelle does, too....

On to the Sundin stuff. Please stop. Please. When he shows his age, etc, so many of you who are pining for him right now will be complaining.

I would much rather have Ansimov playing for us than Sundin. Isn't this supposed to be the future is now year?


Godot--We will be waiting for you...to acknowledge what a great pickup he was, oh, say about halfway through the season,maybe? I look forward to it ;) Yes, Ratelle's number should be retired and don't forget Brad Park either.

Pock is not the answer on d wether we trade rozy or not. He is not the answer!! Man the sooner he is out of the ranger system the better. I do not know why his name always comes up for the big club. Yes, rosy is a bit overpaid, but sometimes you over pay to get (arguably) one of the safer options out there. Some would say we did the same thing with dru and gomez (who I would rather have than mats any day) in their free agent year. Everyone keeps talking about Sundin and Gaborik (sp?), when the true problem spot on this team is still the lack of a true physical blueliner!

Eklunds breaking story: Rangers to trade Gomez to Vancouver to clear space for Sundin. Has anyone ever checked his stats as to rumors equaling any truth whatsoever?


It is not hard to check Eklunds stats.

Then next Ranger rumor he gets right BEFORE it actually happens will be his first.

To be honest I really wish Dubi would find a way to simply ban that fraud because those who actually work on what they write have to waste time dealing with this

I for one want to cover real stories like why Alyssa Milano only designed her Baby Doll collection for just 12 NHL teams instead of the entire league

I know it's coming from Eklund and all, but, I really would not have a problem moving Gomez to Vancouver for, say, a 2009 #1, a 2010 2nd rounder and a prospect, to clear up space for Sundin. I like four things about such a move: 1) Bringing in Sundin, who still put up 30+ goals and 70+ points on a bad Laff team, at age 37 to play next to Naslund. 2) Clearing out a bad long term commitment to a player i never felt comfortable giving that commitment to. 3) Getting a #1 pick from a potential non-playoff team in a year with another deep 1st round. 4) Creating space for both Dubinsky and Anisimov to assume their eventual spots as the top two centers on the Rangers. I believe both players are eventual 70 players, which is about the production we'd see from Gomez over the course of his contract. Again, moving Gomez to bring Sundin is not the horrible idea some Ranger fans believe it to be. And, unlike Drury, Gomez does not have a NMC, just a limited NTC, which allows him to select three teams at the end of each year to which he can not be traded. Frankly, I'd jump at the idea of such a deal to take place.

i can belive you accualy wrore that.Trade Gomer just so sign Sundin????That is the most ridicilous thing Sather or anybody can do.Wel have to see Dubi going to play w.o Jags by his siade and AA is not ready yet.So how does it make sense trading one of th ebest playmakers in a league for 37 y/o who has 1 or 2 season under his belt.And after if they do do whole trading and sundin dont work out youll be same people yelling for Sathers head.

I agree Ant- Would much rather see Rosival moved to make room for Sundin if it has to happen.

I agree with jas.

"I know it's coming from Eklund and all, but, I really would not have a problem moving Gomez to Vancouver for, say, a 2009 #1, a 2010 2nd rounder and a prospect, to clear up space for Sundin."

Jas, I don't think Gomez has nearly that much value, given the length of his contract and the fact that he makes $7 mil a season and isn't even a point per game player....

Thank you, Paul...I've hated that contract since it was signed...and I've been a huge Gomez fan, so I wouldn't shed a tear to see him go. Gomez is not a player I'm happy the rangers made a 7 year commitment to. I'd like to believe that, IF the Rangers are entertaining such an idea, it IS, based in part, on the idea that they (Rangers brass) are very confident that the two centers they truly intend to build around are not Gomez and Drury, but, rather, Dubinsky and Anisimov. Personally, when it comes to Dubinsky, I'm already sold on the kid. Anybody who thinks his success was solely based upon playing next to Jagr just hasn't followed this kid or what he's about. No doubt he benefited from the learning experience of being Jagr's center. but, what I saw was a player who can play with good offensive players, not that his success is dependent upon playing with a good offensive player. (Although, given that he did succeed next to Jagr, it would make sense to play him next to Zherdev.) In fact, as Jess has alluded to, I would not at all be shocked to see him end up as Zherdev's center, while Gomez ended up centering Naslund.

So again...I'm not seeing any great repeat of past Ranger sins by dealing Gomez for say, a 2009 #1, a 2010 #2 and decent prospect, and then signing Sundin, who out-produced Gomez last year, for the short-term, and allowing Dubinsky and Anisimov to develop and eventually become the duo in the center position that the Rangers build their forward core around.

That should read, "and I've NEVER been a huge Gomez fan"

Wolfgaze...I still think Gomez brings at least a #1 back...so take your choice a 2nd or someone like Grabner, perhaps.

I'd comment on the "Gomez trade" posts, but it isn't worth it.

If you want Gomez traded why not Henrik also????? Anything for Sundin. Really, these comments about trading Gomez for the aging Sundin are ridiculous. I like Scott's speed and passing.

RB94, I agree, but I felt compelled to point out how unsound the comment is.


Bones, tell you what. At the mid way point of the season we'll discuss Sundin's stats wherever he's playing, and see if I wish he were on (or not on) the Rangers. If I wish he were in blue (or happy he's in blue) I'll buy you a beer. If not....

Gomez for Sundin? Whaaaaa? Am I drinking too much Pinot? Perhaps, but not too much to chime in and say yes to Park and Ratelle! The NYR site had a vote on how many more NYR numbers ought to be retired, but of course, no where to say WHOSE numbers should join the elite. OBVIOUSLY it's Park and Ratelle. Maybe Gumper? Then and only then do we save a space for number thirteen Mats Sundin. OY! Dios mio! I'm keeeedding!

Drop the puck! And let the kids fight it out for the few spots open....

Godot--- Your on! And if Sundin is a Ranger and plays lousy, I'll buy you a beer, but it ain't gonna happen. He and Naslund are going to make us forget about Jagr and Straka.

Along with jas and me, the author of http://beyondtheblueshirts.com also has stated on this board that the Gomez contract is, um, of concern.

If somehow Gomez is traded to bring in Sundin, in effect what the Rangers also will be getting is a draft pick. But, not of an amateur. It'll be a guy in 2010 who is worth perhaps 8mills a season.

so not commenting on the gomez thing... im going off topic. anyone know what company makes a good book to find card prices for hockey cards? my wife has a TON of cards but we cant find any of the values... ranging in years from 1987-1993. any tips would be great... if you dont want to post a link here send to myname @ gmail

RB - you really think the Rangers had anywhere near the best team on paper any of those years. yes maybe at their prime some of the names but Messier at 40, Lindros and Bure with their injuries, etc on almost anybody else and on paper in that time and place the Rangers were far from the best team (especially on paper)

jas i'm not from missouri but Dubinsky has to show me he can be the number 1 guy at center. don't be so quick to dump Gomez or Drury.

LI Joe

Point well taken. Let me clarify: For many of those years the hockey writers were picking the Rangers to be up among the top teams in the league or making the playoffs. I never thought they were, but many writers and commentators thought so. I thought they could be a playoff team, but a lot of things needed to come together.That is what I ment.

I agree with you on Dubinsky. I just watched Game 5 of the Pens series and Dubinsky was maybe the best player on the Rangers. Jagr, Dawes, Callahan, Rozsival and Mara played well, for the most part. Tyutin, Straka, Shanahan and Staal were awful. Everybody else played close to their normal game. Staal's play was more a reflection of his youth in a very pressure-packed situation and I think he learned a lot from it. Girardi didn't play his norman game either, but with the play of Tyutin, he may have tried to do too much.

If Dubinsky can maintain the speed part of his game and he continues with his level of improvement, I see only VERY good things in his future.

couple of things: the slap shots blog from the NY Times has what should be the last word on that moron ecklund and his rumors after the idiotic comments on gomer being traded. never gonna happen. that guy ecklund hates the rangers, just as the SI guy who trashed us again for the two (in his small mind) probably worst signings of the FA season, Naslund and Redden. in my mind, hopefully all this crap will be more impetus to prove that these guys are not just cashing in on a final career move but have a lot of game left and are anxious to prove it. these guys had a lot of focus on them and their teams in hockey-crazed canada and although we in nyc think we're the center of the universe, hockey-wise we're about as sophisticated and focused as albanians are on hockey (no offense to the albanian community intended). maybe that makes it easier for them to fit in. we'll see.

i am still very much looking forward to all the new faces, and if that includes a 37-year old new face, that's fine too. mats with nats and nik, and gomer and dru and ?? on line line 1A and 1B would suit me fine. not too many better first two lines in the nhl. and if pru is that question mark, then a kid line of dubi, cally and dawes to follow those two on the ice is gonna make us real difficult to match up with.

the other thing i was floored about was over at nhlnumbers.com there's a listing of teams with their cap hits and cap room left and also average ages of the teams' signed players, and guess who has the second youngest team in the nhl? are you sitting down? the NY Rangers, that's who, at a few hundreths of a point more than chicago, both of us at 26 years old. very surprising based on our recent history. it would grow i'm sure with mats but still a good sign for the future that we're getting younger finally.

and personally i know things are really bad when i actually go to the ny post website and see if brooks has written a hockey-related article as he usually does on sunday and found none. i love the warm weather and the summer but need to be inside msg again. soon.

Gomez traded (especially to make room for Sundin) is the dumbest and funniest thing I have heard in some time. No way Sather is that out of it. Gomer is way way more valuable than sundin. What idiot came up with this idea?

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