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How good are professionals?

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Old
05-06-2007, 07:06 PM
  #51
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This is no joke. I already played with Vinny Lecavalier in Montreal with my friend who's dad knows him. My friend's dad was a goalie and Vinny was just playing around with him and he was never able to even touch the puck not even close...It was pretty funny, actually

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05-07-2007, 04:02 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Zubrus15 View Post
You have to be elite and nothing less. Even andrew peters could be considered elite.

Some people I can think of from the Buffalo area off the top of my head that were drafted into the NHL are: Aaron Miller, Lee Stempniak, Patrick Kaleta, Drew Larman, Todd Marchant, Brooks Orpik (went to my school not born here though), Philippe Sauve, obviously Patrick Kane next seasons draft, and then Shane Sims and Russ Tuzzolino were drafted by the islanders and they are from here as well. Those are just active players IDK about retired ones.
Mike Ratchuk as well

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05-07-2007, 04:15 PM
  #53
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I have played against NHL 1/2 line center when I were junior. He scored 5-10points/game even against teams which were top-20/30 teams in Finland.

And then I have played against couple of players who have played ~50games in NHL or so. Of them nothing so exceptional, at least one were most dominated because of his size&speed, not skills like that center.

And then I have played with players who have played pro(in Finland SM-liiga, elite league or in Europe) and couple of them have been very good juniors already, but not all.

You can't be never sure about prospects/juniors. Tho as said that one guy were most dominated guy I have played and with long space between next. He had all, speed, skills, vision, etc.

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05-07-2007, 04:19 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
She was OK for the 3rd highest level, but after they got up to the 2nd highest, her skills just werent enough. The coach, Matti Hagman (former NHLer btw) put her on the bench and thats when Wickenheiser had had enough, and returned to Canada. I guess it was the physical aspect of the game that prooved to be to much for her.

But the Wickenheiser-Finland stuff was more of a media-trick by the club, they wanted sponsors and so on by "making history". But it was interesting, to say the least. She had her own lockerroom etc.
Even in 3rd level she played just in 4th line and 5mins or so in a game.

Btw. I think Riikka Nieminen played in highest level(or at least had skills) in rink bandy(don't know the real english name, but bandy in rink). But she had her own lockerroom, etc. so it wasn't too fun for her.

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05-08-2007, 07:47 AM
  #55
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i was pretty underwhelmed by the womens olympic team.



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05-08-2007, 05:27 PM
  #56
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I skate with former NHL'er Steve Heinze every week. His skills are out of this world. It is a joy just to watch him play. The hand eye coordination he has is insane.

Deron Quint was here about 6 years ago and I got to skate with him all summer while he was training. As a defencemen, the skills he has with the puck were tremendous. We had a couple of guys who played junior hockey growing up and they could not get around him, let alone get a shot off.

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Old
05-08-2007, 06:52 PM
  #57
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i played a few pick-up hockey games in thunder bay a couple years ago with some (ex-)pros. Taylor Pyatt, Patrick Sharp, Alex Auld, Trevor Letowski and a few minor-pro guys. Now, none of those guys dominate in the NHL, but i just couldnt believe how amazing they seem to me. I did manage to score once on Auld though, a one-timer top shelf glove side....he was screened though, but hey, ill take it

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Old
05-08-2007, 07:43 PM
  #58
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Its sick thinking that these fringe players are that freaking good, and then you have players like..Crosby, Ovechkin etc. JEEEEEEEZ

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05-08-2007, 07:50 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S Scott 18 View Post
Its sick thinking that these fringe players are that freaking good, and then you have players like..Crosby, Ovechkin etc. JEEEEEEEZ
i was just thinking the same thing.....imagine the elite of the elite?





i just crapped myself.

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Old
05-08-2007, 07:53 PM
  #60
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I played against two guys who played in the North Stars farm system in the late 80s...when I heard we were playing against AHLers one of my buddies laughed...then that guy scored about 10 goals on us...it was a treat to play against him actaully to see how its really done

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05-11-2007, 04:30 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by _Flyers_ View Post
i played a few pick-up hockey games in thunder bay a couple years ago with some (ex-)pros. Taylor Pyatt, Patrick Sharp, Alex Auld, Trevor Letowski and a few minor-pro guys. Now, none of those guys dominate in the NHL, but i just couldnt believe how amazing they seem to me. I did manage to score once on Auld though, a one-timer top shelf glove side....he was screened though, but hey, ill take it
This is kinda something I've always wondered about too though. How much of those guys abilities are innate/work vs. experience/opportunity?

I'm sure those guys weren't playing their hearts out, and haven't been on top of their game for awhile. But while I've obviously never seen you play, I'd like to believe that if you played with those guys more than once or twice in pickup....say on a team, in games and practices with them, for 6 months of the year.....maybe you could eventually hang with them. After awhile you'd start to adapt to the level of play, and improve your own performance.

Personally, I found a dramatic improvement in my play when I went from twice-a-week rec league hockey to 5 days a week of hockey plus weight training on our college's club roller hockey team. On the occasions we got to play pickup against a couple of the school's NCAA DI players, we were able to stick with them for a bit.

I mean, sure they outplayed us and all without even really trying, but they also spent all week getting several hours of top-flight training, coaching, and practice against some of the best college hockey talent available. I spent all week in class, doing homework, group projects, and working. If I had the luxury of spending an extra 20 hours/week just doing hockey and getting my body in shape.....I don't know how much better I COULD have been, but I bet I'd have been better.

Same with the professionals now. I have no misconceptions about their superior ability. But JS Giguere also has spent the past 8 months playing for and against some of the best hockey talent in the world, with some of the best coaching and physical training assistance in the world. I'd like to see him take a month off from hockey, sit for 10 hours in a cubicle today behind a computer screen entering A/P data, and THEN head over to Joe Louis Arena tonight.....only to find out that they already have two goalies for the game tonight, but he can alternate sides every 10 minutes if he'd like.

I'd like to see Chris Pronger play half of a double-OT playoff game in Game 2 on Sunday night, and then be alert and back behind his desk for another full day at 7:30am on Monday morning.

Again, not trying to discount how good these guys are, but we have to be realistic....they spend a solid 9 months a year on skates, with sticks, playing with pucks. I'd probably be a better goalie if I got to face 200 pucks a day, every day, in practice. Of course, I'd also be unemployed......and broke.....and homeless.....

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05-11-2007, 04:52 PM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJGoalie32 View Post
This is kinda something I've always wondered about too though. How much of those guys abilities are innate/work vs. experience/opportunity?

I'm sure those guys weren't playing their hearts out, and haven't been on top of their game for awhile. But while I've obviously never seen you play, I'd like to believe that if you played with those guys more than once or twice in pickup....say on a team, in games and practices with them, for 6 months of the year.....maybe you could eventually hang with them. After awhile you'd start to adapt to the level of play, and improve your own performance.

Personally, I found a dramatic improvement in my play when I went from twice-a-week rec league hockey to 5 days a week of hockey plus weight training on our college's club roller hockey team. On the occasions we got to play pickup against a couple of the school's NCAA DI players, we were able to stick with them for a bit.

I mean, sure they outplayed us and all without even really trying, but they also spent all week getting several hours of top-flight training, coaching, and practice against some of the best college hockey talent available. I spent all week in class, doing homework, group projects, and working. If I had the luxury of spending an extra 20 hours/week just doing hockey and getting my body in shape.....I don't know how much better I COULD have been, but I bet I'd have been better.

Same with the professionals now. I have no misconceptions about their superior ability. But JS Giguere also has spent the past 8 months playing for and against some of the best hockey talent in the world, with some of the best coaching and physical training assistance in the world. I'd like to see him take a month off from hockey, sit for 10 hours in a cubicle today behind a computer screen entering A/P data, and THEN head over to Joe Louis Arena tonight.....only to find out that they already have two goalies for the game tonight, but he can alternate sides every 10 minutes if he'd like.

I'd like to see Chris Pronger play half of a double-OT playoff game in Game 2 on Sunday night, and then be alert and back behind his desk for another full day at 7:30am on Monday morning.

Again, not trying to discount how good these guys are, but we have to be realistic....they spend a solid 9 months a year on skates, with sticks, playing with pucks. I'd probably be a better goalie if I got to face 200 pucks a day, every day, in practice. Of course, I'd also be unemployed......and broke.....and homeless.....
theres no secret formula....these guys are from hockey hotbeds- and have been playing the top competition offered for near their entire lives.


you would see a dramatic increase in your improvement if you practiced with the mighty ducks for a month- then you would go back to playing beer leagues and your skills would suffer.

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Old
05-11-2007, 05:21 PM
  #63
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For my Rec team, we had a sub play the odd game for us, and he had a stint for providence (AHL). He was mainly a career ECHL'er, and said compared to the guys in the AHL, he wasn't very good. 2 of his strides would beat 5 strides of the next best skaters in the league (there are alot of ex juniour A tier 2 players in the league), and his shot is ridiculous. I didn't realize the extent to which pro players were better than amateurs untill he played for us, but it gave me a whole new respect for all levels of pro.

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Old
05-11-2007, 08:40 PM
  #64
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I grew up playing with ME Vlasic because i played with his brothers. He used to be an assistant coach when he was like 15 even though he was never at our practices. I just remember the few times he was on the ice with us, our goalie who was something like 12,was extremely scared of his shot when he would demonstrate a drill. I remember very well he got hit in the mask and started crying really bad...lolll

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05-11-2007, 09:13 PM
  #65
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Back in Finland I think I may have played against Pitkanen... I don't know, I'm almost 100% sure I played against Riku Helenius though when I was 12 or 13 because I remember almost getting in a fight with him.

I do know that my cousin played against Tuukka Rask and Oscar Osala when he was 12-13 also.

I don't think there's anybody else.. yea I"m pretty boring eh?

And if we stayed in Helsinki my brother probably would have played against Toni Rajala (before Rajala went semi-pro).

My Brother is probably one of the most talented players I've seen playing amateur... it's disapointing we're in Chicago and he has no way of taking himself any higher. At the age of 8 (when I was 12) he was already a better player than me... he had so much natural talent... (not NHL calibre but he did turn heads at tournaments)


All in all Helenius was a great goaltender when I played against him and I don't remember much of Pitkanen.


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Old
05-12-2007, 02:03 PM
  #66
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pat lafontaine camp in long island...patty was roofing one handed shots- hitting the crossbar from the redline 5x in a row....


the man was sick.

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Old
05-12-2007, 03:45 PM
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJGoalie32 View Post
This is kinda something I've always wondered about too though. How much of those guys abilities are innate/work vs. experience/opportunity?

I'm sure those guys weren't playing their hearts out, and haven't been on top of their game for awhile. But while I've obviously never seen you play, I'd like to believe that if you played with those guys more than once or twice in pickup....say on a team, in games and practices with them, for 6 months of the year.....maybe you could eventually hang with them. After awhile you'd start to adapt to the level of play, and improve your own performance.

Personally, I found a dramatic improvement in my play when I went from twice-a-week rec league hockey to 5 days a week of hockey plus weight training on our college's club roller hockey team. On the occasions we got to play pickup against a couple of the school's NCAA DI players, we were able to stick with them for a bit.

I mean, sure they outplayed us and all without even really trying, but they also spent all week getting several hours of top-flight training, coaching, and practice against some of the best college hockey talent available. I spent all week in class, doing homework, group projects, and working. If I had the luxury of spending an extra 20 hours/week just doing hockey and getting my body in shape.....I don't know how much better I COULD have been, but I bet I'd have been better.

Same with the professionals now. I have no misconceptions about their superior ability. But JS Giguere also has spent the past 8 months playing for and against some of the best hockey talent in the world, with some of the best coaching and physical training assistance in the world. I'd like to see him take a month off from hockey, sit for 10 hours in a cubicle today behind a computer screen entering A/P data, and THEN head over to Joe Louis Arena tonight.....only to find out that they already have two goalies for the game tonight, but he can alternate sides every 10 minutes if he'd like.

I'd like to see Chris Pronger play half of a double-OT playoff game in Game 2 on Sunday night, and then be alert and back behind his desk for another full day at 7:30am on Monday morning.

Again, not trying to discount how good these guys are, but we have to be realistic....they spend a solid 9 months a year on skates, with sticks, playing with pucks. I'd probably be a better goalie if I got to face 200 pucks a day, every day, in practice. Of course, I'd also be unemployed......and broke.....and homeless.....
Well that's the thing, these guys have been playing their whole lives. Been coached since they were kids. Some by some of the best coaches in the world. They played in pee wee, high school leagues, juniors/college, minor leagues, etc.

They got to practice so many days a week. Their lives were hockey. If you are an NHL player, you spend so much time on the rink. Not like the rest of us who do this as a hobby. Odds are, many of these guys never had a part-time job because their full time job their whole lives was hockey.

I mean sure, once you're good, it's tough to lose a lot of that skill. However, the more you play the better you get. I know a lot of it is natural ability, but a large chunk has to do with playing and playing and playing. Then the truly gifted players even play above the abilities of someone their age when they are young. So they get better and better. That's what it takes to be a Pro.

Not many players will pick up hockey in high school and make it to the NHL, this is not football.


I think even the slightest example is take any beer league player who never played hockey as a kid or in high school.
They maybe played pond hockey as a kid, maybe some ice/roller hockey with friends screwing around. The first time they play, they're gonna be terrible. Probably will be for the first few seasons. However, after a while they become more comfortable, the more they play they start becoming better. After a couple of years or maybe less they can probably move out of their division and into a higher one.

These are just people who play once a week in beer leagues and maybe the occasional open hockey session.

Imagine someone who's been doing this for years and has a coach who shows them how to do everything properly from a young age. Someone who has had practice after practice, game after game, for years and years from a young age when it's easiest to learn new skills. Who goes out on their free time to skate around and shoot because they want to be better.


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Old
05-16-2007, 10:43 PM
  #68
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When my dad was 16 his ice hockey team one a tournament or something and got to play a scrimage with some Washington Caps players(they weren't the top notch guys) my dad's goalie told the player to shoot it as hard as he can and it broke the goalie's hand.

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Old
05-17-2007, 08:20 AM
  #69
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Well that's the thing, these guys have been playing their whole lives. Been coached since they were kids. Some by some of the best coaches in the world. They played in pee wee, high school leagues, juniors/college, minor leagues, etc.

They got to practice so many days a week. Their lives were hockey. If you are an NHL player, you spend so much time on the rink. Not like the rest of us who do this as a hobby. Odds are, many of these guys never had a part-time job because their full time job their whole lives was hockey.

I mean sure, once you're good, it's tough to lose a lot of that skill. However, the more you play the better you get. I know a lot of it is natural ability, but a large chunk has to do with playing and playing and playing. Then the truly gifted players even play above the abilities of someone their age when they are young. So they get better and better. That's what it takes to be a Pro.

Not many players will pick up hockey in high school and make it to the NHL, this is not football.


I think even the slightest example is take any beer league player who never played hockey as a kid or in high school.
They maybe played pond hockey as a kid, maybe some ice/roller hockey with friends screwing around. The first time they play, they're gonna be terrible. Probably will be for the first few seasons. However, after a while they become more comfortable, the more they play they start becoming better. After a couple of years or maybe less they can probably move out of their division and into a higher one.

These are just people who play once a week in beer leagues and maybe the occasional open hockey session.

Imagine someone who's been doing this for years and has a coach who shows them how to do everything properly from a young age. Someone who has had practice after practice, game after game, for years and years from a young age when it's easiest to learn new skills. Who goes out on their free time to skate around and shoot because they want to be better.

to add on to that the majority of professionals live in bumblescrew parts of their country and there arent many options other than hockey. you dont see players coming out of NYC and LA for that exact reason.

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05-20-2007, 01:37 PM
  #70
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I grew up with a few players who thought they were hot **** and would go on to play college and beyond. Well, 99% of them can't be found on hockeydb.com and the ones that did make it barely scratched a DIII lineup if at all.

Just when you think somebody is a good hockey player...there are probably at least 20 dudes who could own him on the ice.

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01-25-2010, 01:11 PM
  #71
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Forgive me for bumping such an old thread, but I was reading through it and came a cross a lot of great posts. I just wanted to add my own experience:

We had a guy come out to sub on our C-level beer league team last summer, and he was just amazing. I got talking to him after the game and turns out he'd played four years in the OHL, including one year as captain of his team. He ended up getting drafted late (in 1998) and I believe he said he went to one pro training camp. He blew out his knee at some point and that was it, career over. Anyway, this one game he played for us this past summer, we won 7-4 and this guy had 2g 4a, just completely controlled the game. He said he hadn't played in months, and it honestly looked like he wasn't even trying, maybe playing at about 50% speed.

He was a little cocky, but a real nice guy, and he passed the puck around a ton. It was just so humbling to watch him play. I mean the guy was a checker in junior who never played a game of pro hockey and he came out and made us look like little kids out there.

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Old
01-25-2010, 09:02 PM
  #72
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Played with Dany Heatley, chuck kobasew, my cousin who is in the AHL, My other Cousin who is in the WHL, And a bunch of Junior A players. Honestly I didn't notice a huge difference between Heatley and my cousin when they just skated around stick handling and shooting but when they play against people that can give them a challenge that's when you notice the difference. The hockey sense and awareness in NHL players is unreal

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01-25-2010, 09:34 PM
  #73
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Pros really are that good. It kind of makes me shake my head when I hear people say "<name> sucks" because the worst NHL player, hell, the worst any level of semi-pro player, is still miles ahead of whoever is saying it. I was fortunate enough to play with 2 different semi-pro players before. I don't want to give names, even though they didn't get too far in their pro careers, just to protect identities.

One guy I played with played all 4 years at UMass Lowell and went on for a couple full seasons of ECHL. Right now he's actually only 31 and I haven't played with him in like 3 years so he was still at a good age to play professionally but the guy was a friggin drunk. You can smell the booze on him every time he played. Sadly, he was still easily the best one on the ice.

The other guy actually had a pretty long minor league career. He played a total of 9 straight seasons jumping in between the CHL and UHL. Apparently he was offered a contract by Colorado when he was a UFA and his agent told him not to take it because he could make more, never got another contract offer. He still understandably hates the guy. He was really good too. The one thing that I found kind of odd about him though was that you can hear him digging into the ice when he skated. I never noticed it by any other skater before. He sounds like a train, can hear him coming from a mile away.

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01-25-2010, 09:35 PM
  #74
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I remember playing against a guy that played in the ECHL a few years ago, and he was by far the best player I've played against.

Just looking at him, and his old gear, you'd get the impression that he's someone that learned to skate recently...boy was I wrong. I made me look foolish many o' times.

Heck, he could pass harder than I could shoot...

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01-25-2010, 09:36 PM
  #75
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We had a guy that is in the CHL (Central Hockey League) play as a sub on our team last night. He scored a few beauties....blew by their defense as a whim....

The guy is playing minor pro, but to us, amazing skill.

I can't even fathom how good an NHL player would be to play against.
Our beer league has some former ECHL players who are old now and they are still better than everyone else out there. Amazing isn't it?

20 years ago we played against a guy who played in the AHL for the St. John Maple leafs in the late 80s. He was a GOON too and was way better than all of us. Damned if I can remember his name now.

He didn't score in the AHL ... he was just a professional level fisticuff athlete and quite frankly made us look really weak. he was about 6ft 5 or so, he must have been because I am 6ft 4in and he was a wee bit taller.

We had jumped in on an ice rental which had been done by former retired professionals (AHL or whatever else), semi-professionals, European league guys and college players too etc. They were all friends, not sure why they were all there in that same place.

names? I knew none of them at all and nobody looked familiar.

They mixed us in on their team and vice versa as they just wanted enough guys to actually scrimmage.

It was fun but I am glad I never had to play against guys that good again. I played on a checking line in Highschool and wasn't even as good as the "starters" then.

It was a cool experieince for sure.

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