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How good are professionals?

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Old
01-25-2010, 09:56 PM
  #76
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I routinely play with a guy who played in either the Finnish or German elite league, I can't recall which. But he was considered something of a goon over there and is pretty good. His shot is a laser beam. I wasn't blown away by him (played vs a couple AHL'ers and tons of D III players), but he's pretty darn good.


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01-25-2010, 10:02 PM
  #77
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a friend of mine who is in my league but on another team is the best player ive ever played with

it sucks to play against him, he is ridiculous

he made an echl team on a tryout and could easily be in the ahl

he is so good and his team never shows up so he is out there the whole time

usually he scores about 7 goals, then he switches teams because they(him)are beating the crap out of the other team, and he scores another 4

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01-25-2010, 11:36 PM
  #78
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I played with a guy who led an ECHL team in penalty minutes and hadn't played in a few years. He was the best player on the ice. Just took the puck away from guys and made saucer passes right to the tape of people, and did it without much any effort. I've also played with guys who played really low pro- not even ECHL, and they dominated.

Pros are good. Pros are really really good. Top end NHLers have 20 year careers. Average is probably about 10. To maintain a roster of 20 guys you'll need about 2 rookies on average. 60 players making the NHL every year. Out of hundreds of thousands.

You have to be pretty damn good.

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01-25-2010, 11:52 PM
  #79
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Koci would destroy the HFBoards all star team single handedly.


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01-26-2010, 12:17 AM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
a friend of mine who is in my league but on another team is the best player ive ever played with

it sucks to play against him, he is ridiculous

he made an echl team on a tryout and could easily be in the ahl

he is so good and his team never shows up so he is out there the whole time

usually he scores about 7 goals, then he switches teams because they(him)are beating the crap out of the other team, and he scores another 4


Are you serious? Man, that's awesome!


At the local stick and puck we have an ex-OHL goaltender who pretty much makes everyone look foolish on the ice.

Remember that, in addition to being in very good physical condition, pros also have also put far more hours into training and practicing than any of us average joes. If you play hockey 3x a week, you're playing less than a pro. They'll do 3-4 games in a week, which doesn't include everything else.

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01-26-2010, 12:26 AM
  #81
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yeah, the echl guy I played with used to do sets of pullups with a belt that had a 30 pound weight attached.

Proper pullups, not he kinda chin ups many do. And sets being 20 or so.

And he wasn't even good enough at punching people to be an enforcer in the AHL. If that doesn't make you feel inadequate...

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01-26-2010, 12:43 AM
  #82
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Put it this way, I've played pick up with plenty of former ECHL guys and even a guy who played goalie in the ECHL looked like an NHL all star as a skater against us.

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01-26-2010, 12:55 AM
  #83
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I played with an ECHL guy who wasn't all that great. Yeah he had great dekes but didn't pass that well and his shot was only 50% better than mine

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01-26-2010, 01:04 AM
  #84
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Most are incredible. Take a look at Dan Bylsma's book, it'll give you an idea of how good fringe NHLers are. I've playe with a handful of pro's that aren't terrific after their playing careers, but everyone who was playing pro hockey at the time I played against them was extremely impressive.
Dan Bylsma was trying out a new curve at a drop-in hockey I was playing goal at. Slapshot from just higher than the hashmarks got away from him and hit me just under the collarbone. Just about knocked the wind out of me, and left a softball sized bruise. I'd like to say I tracked it, but I didn't. I flinched and quite likely peed a little.

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01-26-2010, 05:48 AM
  #85
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I've played with Jim McKenzie a few times and even though he was an enforcer in the NHL, he has incredible play making ability. It really amazed me at first, but when I think about it, it's not at all surprising. He just has great vision (compared to the rest of us). I did win a corner battle against him though

I didn't witness it, but Vern Fiddler played a Men's league game as a goaltender one time. He was supposedly really good at it

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01-26-2010, 08:31 AM
  #86
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I invited Matthew Lachaine on my team this year and he played a couple of games for us, he's a former Val D'or (QMJHL) player (he finished his junior career last year) and I marvelled as every shot he took were hard roofers from the redline next to the boards.

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01-26-2010, 08:36 AM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
a friend of mine who is in my league but on another team is the best player ive ever played with

it sucks to play against him, he is ridiculous

he made an echl team on a tryout and could easily be in the ahl

he is so good and his team never shows up so he is out there the whole time

usually he scores about 7 goals, then he switches teams because they(him)are beating the crap out of the other team, and he scores another 4
I honestly hate when people do that. Most of the semi-pros that I played with in beer leagues never even took a shot because it's not fun for anybody when somebody scores a goal every couple minutes.

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01-26-2010, 08:49 AM
  #88
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I played open hockey with a guy who was a fringe ECHL'er (don't know if he made it or not, but he went for tryouts later that year)...holy crap. Literally cross the ice in half a dozen strides, hardest slapshot I've ever seen, could dominate if he wanted to, but was going about half speed and still better than a lot of the former varsity HS and D3 college players that showed up.

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01-26-2010, 09:50 AM
  #89
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I also used to play on a beer league team with a guy who was teammates with Steve Sullivan back in junior. When we played together, around 2005/06, he was probably about 30 pounds overweight and didn't really skate too much, it seemed, but he just knew where to be on the ice all the time, and really made the game look simple. In a 25-game season, he would typically put up about 35 goals, 20 assists or so. I remember, he scored the game winner most games that we won, so he was really clutch, too. He would always know what to say on the bench to get the guys going and would always back it up on the ice. What got me too, was that he was always really positive, so he was a pleasure to play with.

I was a rookie on the team, about 21 years old, so that would put him at about 31 at the time. One thing about him that I'll always remember, was any time we were on the bench together during the game and I looked rattled or in over my head, he would always ask me, "Are you having fun?" I haven't played with him in years now, but I think about that comment a lot and it reminds me why I play the game.

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01-26-2010, 11:16 AM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
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.
Kurt Walker ring a bell?...sounds like him, pure goon and not much else

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01-26-2010, 11:23 AM
  #91
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And I thought that i could make the NHL...

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01-26-2010, 12:33 PM
  #92
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I honestly hate when people do that. Most of the semi-pros that I played with in beer leagues never even took a shot because it's not fun for anybody when somebody scores a goal every couple minutes.
he doesnt go all out, but at times you can see he just turns on the jets for fun and pucks in the back of the net

he wants to play pro hockey but he has a great job so he just plays in mens league with us. hes from czech and moved over here probably when he was a young teen, hes 23 now

one time i dropped back on defense to cover for my teammate and he crosses the blue line and it was a 1-2 and he saw i was kind of screen my goalie(but i was about 5 feet away from the blue line so i was pretty far out) and he ripped a snapper over his pad

he uses a 112 flex but it isnt still enough and breaks sticks like once a week

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01-26-2010, 08:12 PM
  #93
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Joel Rechlicz is probably the only pro that 90 percent of us in here are better than hands down.

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01-26-2010, 11:13 PM
  #94
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yeah, the echl guy I played with used to do sets of pullups with a belt that had a 30 pound weight attached.

Proper pullups, not he kinda chin ups many do. And sets being 20 or so.

And he wasn't even good enough at punching people to be an enforcer in the AHL. If that doesn't make you feel inadequate...
Yeah no kidding.

I can't remember tha last time I even did a pullup. It is crazy how good some guys are at playing hockey huh? I hope heaven for me is being a professional NHL player.

Either that or just flying in space and going wherever I feel like it. That would be nice too

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01-26-2010, 11:16 PM
  #95
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js caron was playing mens league in my league once before i started playing and he got into a fight with my friend. my friend got suspended but he didnt go figure

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01-27-2010, 12:04 AM
  #96
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I played with Colton Gillies of the Minnesota Wild last summer. He was amazing, he may not be Ovechkin but wow he was so good. NHLers are the best out there, it may not look like it when they play each other but when you play them it's much different.

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01-27-2010, 04:57 AM
  #97
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I played a year of college (****** college), know several dirty kids, and a couple of former AHLers. One of the absolute best players I know is a guy in his mid 30's and he had the opportunity of playing with Alexi Kovalev back in the 90's when Kovy was injured and skating his way back into shape. The guy I know said Kovy encouraged him and his buddies to play hard against him and yet he still destroyed them at every turn. Sounds pretty good to me.

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01-27-2010, 05:26 AM
  #98
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Quote:
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here is an idea of how hard it is to play pro:

out of everyone ive ever played with (over a 15 year span) ive only heard of ONE person who cracked the AHL. his name is kevin mitchell and he is in the ECHL now i believe as an offensive defenseman.


granted NY isnt really a hockey hotbed....but he was the best player as a youngster by far within a 3 year radius...and he wont crack the NHL.


everyone you see in the league is an amazing player.
Really? Several of my high school friends who played AA and AAA have played with John Tavares and if I remember correctly Sam Gagner as well. My uncle played with Nik Kypreos when he was a kid. He was on Kypreos' line the whole season. He ended up scoring two goals (one was a tap in from the goal line ), Kypreos scored over 40.

And to answer the OP's question: Think of that thread on the main board not too long ago: "The Most Useless Player In The NHL." Players mentioned included Georges Laraque, Rikard Wallin, David Koci, Riley Cote, among others. They all could pretty much school everyone of us.

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01-27-2010, 06:06 AM
  #99
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This is a good thread. A lot of people don't realize how much of a jump there is from level to level in hockey. I'll give you guys a quick timeline here;

When I was 14-15 I played AAA in London, ON. Got drafted to the O and went to the teams orientation camp. At this point, you don't know many of the guys names, and most of you are 16-17. The skill level is pretty close for people who were drafted as scorers and then you have people on the same skill level that were drafted to be fighters, or defensive d-men, etc..., but you can tell some guys are just built better at this point and that gives them a clear edge. The competition there was pretty good. I was lucky to be about 6' feet tall and about 165 lbs by that age, so I had the size to not get rocked too hard, but the guys who were a year older and had been drafted the year before, but not made the big club yet stood out a lot.

That year I started the season playing junior B in St Thomas, and that was the first time I sat back in my career and went 'Holy ****, I had better keep my head up'. The jump from AAA to junior where you are playing guys that are anywhere from 16 to 21 is ridiculous. Most of the guys did this as a side job for fun, being 19 or 20 while some of us were placed here because St T. has some affiliation with some junior A teams. I was in the top 3 scorers on my AAA team the year before, on a team that is perrenially a top-3 team along with Elgin and another stand-out, and for the first 10 games, I got either 4th line minutes, or no minutes and was trying very hard just to keep up. Where I really benefited at that time was the practice where you just learn things from the other guys.

I got more decent playing time and got 3rd line minutes by about the 15th game in and levelled out there until the 26th game of the season where I got lucky and was called up to the O due to injuries on the big club. I was there only for insurance issues and finished out the season playing only 3 games, which I managed to survive.

This jump is the one that makes you see how good you have to be to really make it. I'll tell you all right now what it is. Quickness. The quickness of everything; Your skating, decision making, HOW FAST YOU CAN GET A GOOD SHOT OFF (probably THE most important). You want to be able to put it near the cross-bar from the opposing goal line in practice if you don't want to get chirped about having a muffin for a shot.

Anyways, from there I progressed and played out 2 and a half full seasons of junior, spoke to some GMs after not getting a look at all in my first year of draft elligibility, but still didn't get taken after my second year in the draft. Got lucky that season and got a try-out contract with the Minnesota wild and was invited to their prospect camp in Traverse city. These tournaments are basically OHL all-star games with some talent from europe fused in there from the draft and plugs like me on the 4th line trying to make some kind of impact. From there I went to their rookie-camp in late august and saw an even bigger jump in talent. Here we had guys who were 23, who had been playing in the A but couldn't crack the big leagues yet, and I can tell you. Because of the size and skill they brought, they were at that point about 10 times better than anyone but the TOP END talent in the OHL at that time (Gagner, Kosti, etc...), and pretty much ran through us younger guys.

Of course I didn't make the team, and got sent back to my OHL team to play a season as an over-ager. I played there and after the season was done, got invited to a try-out by two ECHL teams, Florida and Victoria. I made one and played 1st and 2nd line minutes for a season, with one AHL call up (where I make an extra $75 a week to get dangled and softened up in practice for a week and a game, woo!) making an ok salary, but decided that I needed stability because making 32000 a year wont cut it when I wasn't able to play at my highest level in 7 or 8 years.

So basically, a re-cap. I played pretty much the highest level possible my entire life growing up. I had good size, a good head for the game, and decent skills. I was dominant in AAA, played well as a rookie in junior-B, levelled out to a pretty good player in Major Junior, but got almost no looks to even be a late draftee. I was an average to below average player in the prospects tournament and rookie camps and when I hit 21, I think I peaked early because I played probably about 3 times better than I ever have that one season in the Coast and all it got me was about 2 months on the first line, a call-up because some of the better players couldn't get called up due to contractual obligations and a bus-ride home at the end of the season with my twigs and hockey bag. And I can tell you, I always worked hard in practice, and in games, but when it comes down to it, some guys are just born with this skill a step above 99% of all the other guys who give 20 years of their lives to hockey. That 1% is the guys you see in the NHL right now.

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01-27-2010, 07:35 AM
  #100
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Originally Posted by POW66 View Post
This is a good thread. A lot of people don't realize how much of a jump there is from level to level in hockey. I'll give you guys a quick timeline here;

When I was 14-15 I played AAA in London, ON. Got drafted to the O and went to the teams orientation camp. At this point, you don't know many of the guys names, and most of you are 16-17. The skill level is pretty close for people who were drafted as scorers and then you have people on the same skill level that were drafted to be fighters, or defensive d-men, etc..., but you can tell some guys are just built better at this point and that gives them a clear edge. The competition there was pretty good. I was lucky to be about 6' feet tall and about 165 lbs by that age, so I had the size to not get rocked too hard, but the guys who were a year older and had been drafted the year before, but not made the big club yet stood out a lot.

That year I started the season playing junior B in St Thomas, and that was the first time I sat back in my career and went 'Holy ****, I had better keep my head up'. The jump from AAA to junior where you are playing guys that are anywhere from 16 to 21 is ridiculous. Most of the guys did this as a side job for fun, being 19 or 20 while some of us were placed here because St T. has some affiliation with some junior A teams. I was in the top 3 scorers on my AAA team the year before, on a team that is perrenially a top-3 team along with Elgin and another stand-out, and for the first 10 games, I got either 4th line minutes, or no minutes and was trying very hard just to keep up. Where I really benefited at that time was the practice where you just learn things from the other guys.

I got more decent playing time and got 3rd line minutes by about the 15th game in and levelled out there until the 26th game of the season where I got lucky and was called up to the O due to injuries on the big club. I was there only for insurance issues and finished out the season playing only 3 games, which I managed to survive.

This jump is the one that makes you see how good you have to be to really make it. I'll tell you all right now what it is. Quickness. The quickness of everything; Your skating, decision making, HOW FAST YOU CAN GET A GOOD SHOT OFF (probably THE most important). You want to be able to put it near the cross-bar from the opposing goal line in practice if you don't want to get chirped about having a muffin for a shot.

Anyways, from there I progressed and played out 2 and a half full seasons of junior, spoke to some GMs after not getting a look at all in my first year of draft elligibility, but still didn't get taken after my second year in the draft. Got lucky that season and got a try-out contract with the Minnesota wild and was invited to their prospect camp in Traverse city. These tournaments are basically OHL all-star games with some talent from europe fused in there from the draft and plugs like me on the 4th line trying to make some kind of impact. From there I went to their rookie-camp in late august and saw an even bigger jump in talent. Here we had guys who were 23, who had been playing in the A but couldn't crack the big leagues yet, and I can tell you. Because of the size and skill they brought, they were at that point about 10 times better than anyone but the TOP END talent in the OHL at that time (Gagner, Kosti, etc...), and pretty much ran through us younger guys.

Of course I didn't make the team, and got sent back to my OHL team to play a season as an over-ager. I played there and after the season was done, got invited to a try-out by two ECHL teams, Florida and Victoria. I made one and played 1st and 2nd line minutes for a season, with one AHL call up (where I make an extra $75 a week to get dangled and softened up in practice for a week and a game, woo!) making an ok salary, but decided that I needed stability because making 32000 a year wont cut it when I wasn't able to play at my highest level in 7 or 8 years.

So basically, a re-cap. I played pretty much the highest level possible my entire life growing up. I had good size, a good head for the game, and decent skills. I was dominant in AAA, played well as a rookie in junior-B, levelled out to a pretty good player in Major Junior, but got almost no looks to even be a late draftee. I was an average to below average player in the prospects tournament and rookie camps and when I hit 21, I think I peaked early because I played probably about 3 times better than I ever have that one season in the Coast and all it got me was about 2 months on the first line, a call-up because some of the better players couldn't get called up due to contractual obligations and a bus-ride home at the end of the season with my twigs and hockey bag. And I can tell you, I always worked hard in practice, and in games, but when it comes down to it, some guys are just born with this skill a step above 99% of all the other guys who give 20 years of their lives to hockey. That 1% is the guys you see in the NHL right now.
Just a great thread and an even better post. I was always curious how good were the NHler's compared to normal folks. Funny, I had my first reality check when I was 11 years old. Living on Long Island NY, I played ICE hockey and dominated the leagues. 6 points a game but was tiny. No one could touch me. Ok, so my parents decide to send me to a Ice hockey summer camp in MA. I was very excited, could not wait to get there. I was going to compete against kids from Quebec, Ontario, MA, maine, Vermont, Upstate NY, etc.....First scrimmage was done and I knew at age 11 I had no chance to get out of long Island, NY. I noticed this skinny kid while we were getting the gear on in the locker room. He ad the darl rimmed eye glasses and just looked like the dorkiest of dorks. you know, the pencil neck that was the mathlete in high school, pants pulled up high, pens in his pocket shirt, always reading books and quiet. Well this kid was from Montreal. Just looked like he should of been on revenge of the nerds. His gear was old and he just got on the ice. He took a puck and just whistled a shot near me at the side board that I have never ever seen so fast! and he was 10 years old! I was just amazed, then he started skating and my god just faster than fast and had awesome balance. name was Yves Gagone. anyone ever hear of him in the ranks ???? No idea if he ever played Junior or what, or he was just a dorky kid from Canada that was out of this world talented. I kept on saying if this was a nerd from Canada how are the cool kids or the great athletes? So at 11 years old, learned real fast I better get back to Long Island and back into my small pond before I was destroyed. lol great stories

I wound up playing D 3 puck in the states and had a fun time in college. Now I just watch my beloved isles in North florida and try to get my golf handicap to scratch. everyone is good in golf down here too. On long island, I would be one of the best of a foursome but here I am just mediocre at best. teaching my 2 year old the game of golf but guess what! He loves hockey, we watch it just about every night on center ice. Wait until he plays! and he faces kids from NY as I assume the competition in Florida for hockey players cant be too hard lol

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