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HOH Top Forwards - Determining positions. Updated Wingers list Post 276

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Old
07-05-2013, 12:52 PM
  #151
Canadiens1958
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Situation

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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
How should we handle a situation where player X and player Y have the same accomplishments at LW but player X has additional accomplishments at RW. Does that put player X above player Y on the LW list?
Assuming there is such a situation?

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07-05-2013, 01:03 PM
  #152
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one thing i think i brought up upthread is that with forwards, there's a reasonable expectation of versatility. sometimes centers have to play wing (yzerman, among many others), sometimes due to team needs or when big games are on the line wingers have to play center (linden, muller). certainly, many wingers have to sometimes play their opposite wing (heatley, ovechkin).

even if guys play a secondary position for a season, even two or three seasons, i don't think that should be considered a separate accomplishment from what they did at their main position.

the much stickier question is guys like red kelly, where there's no reasonable expectation that a defenseman will play center.

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07-05-2013, 01:12 PM
  #153
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Enhances

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Here's a better question: When ranking Mark Messier on a list of the "best centers of all time," do we just pretend that everything he did before 1984-85 never happened? Do we rank Sid Abel under Dale Hawerchuk for no other reason than Abel spent 1/3 of his career as a left wing?

Canadiens1958's idea is absolutely brutal towards forwards who played multiple positions, and I don't understand why he can't see that.
Actually my suggestion enhances the careers of such players.

Using Messier, it is relatively easy to compare his career at both positions to contemporaries. Simply ask the question which LWs achieved over their careers what Messier did in five or so seasons. Similar question for center comparisons.

Point is that we debate Abel / Hawerchuk using the concrete facts of their careers not some abstractions. If it is shown that 2/3 of Abel's career at center was better than all of Hawerchuk's so be it.

Effectively the debate should be based on merit as opposed to form.

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07-05-2013, 01:17 PM
  #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't see why it's so hard to just give a player credit for everything he did. It's not overrating a player to give him credit for his career.
Maybe "overrate" isn't the right word. But it would be misleading to suggest that Ovechkin should be ranked above Hull in terms of Harts won by a LW.

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07-05-2013, 01:20 PM
  #155
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Appropriateness

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't see why it's so hard to just give a player credit for everything he did. It's not overrating a player to give him credit for his career.

Edit: I re-skimmed the thread and it sure seems like that's the assumption the first 100 posts were going on.
Giving a player credit for everything he did during his career would happen on the list ranking players regardless of position.

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07-05-2013, 01:31 PM
  #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
one thing i think i brought up upthread is that with forwards, there's a reasonable expectation of versatility. sometimes centers have to play wing (yzerman, among many others), sometimes due to team needs or when big games are on the line wingers have to play center (linden, muller). certainly, many wingers have to sometimes play their opposite wing (heatley, ovechkin).

even if guys play a secondary position for a season, even two or three seasons, i don't think that should be considered a separate accomplishment from what they did at their main position.

the much stickier question is guys like red kelly, where there's no reasonable expectation that a defenseman will play center.
yeah, I agree. I think it could have been an issue for guys who switched from D to F because the positions are so different, but for forwards? I really don't see any advantage in severing their career into different parts. What of forwards who spent part of the season at wing and part at center? Do we need to go through game logs to figure out which games of theres, which points they scored shouldn't count?

And the disadvantage is huge - someone like Sid Abel is going to be brutalized in the rankings if we decide we have to ignore the first 1/3 of his career before he was moved to center when we're ranking centers.

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07-05-2013, 01:33 PM
  #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Actually my suggestion enhances the careers of such players.

Using Messier, it is relatively easy to compare his career at both positions to contemporaries. Simply ask the question which LWs achieved over their careers what Messier did in five or so seasons. Similar question for center comparisons.

Point is that we debate Abel / Hawerchuk using the concrete facts of their careers not some abstractions. If it is shown that 2/3 of Abel's career at center was better than all of Hawerchuk's so be it.

Effectively the debate should be based on merit as opposed to form.
So basically, even if Sid Abel is (I'm making up these numbers), the 25th best player of all-time who spent the majority of his career at center, you'd rather rank him the 40th best center because the first 1/3 of his career is meaningless. Then hope that our list of LWs is long enough to give Abel some kind of token credit for the first 1/3 of his career.

It's a horrible result. As is any ranking of Ovechkin that pretends his 2012-13 season didn't happen because he switched wings.

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07-05-2013, 01:34 PM
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Maybe "overrate" isn't the right word. But it would be misleading to suggest that Ovechkin should be ranked above Hull in terms of Harts won by a LW.
It would not be misleading to state that Ovechkin won more Harts than any other player in history whose primary position was LW.

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07-05-2013, 02:02 PM
  #159
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NoIII

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
So basically, even if Sid Abel is (I'm making up these numbers), the 25th best player of all-time who spent the majority of his career at center, you'd rather rank him the 40th best center because the first 1/3 of his career is meaningless. Then hope that our list of LWs is long enough to give Abel some kind of token credit for the first 1/3 of his career.

It's a horrible result. As is any ranking of Ovechkin that pretends his 2012-13 season didn't happen because he switched wings.
So your point is based on some anticipatory result that has no base in reality.

My point is rather simple. It has been demonstrated that a player with a short career at a position - Bobby Orr, may be shown to have a better career and be ranked higher than comparable players with long careers at the same position - Bill Gadsby.

If Bobby Orr had shifted to forward instead of retiring, his superiority as a defenseman over Bill Gadsby would still be demonstratable without looking at any possible forward results. Same applies to all your other hypothetical scenarios. The argument is made on the actual results generated while playing the position = merit as opposed to some abstract form that you may wish the argument to have.

Again no one is pretending that Ovechkin's 2012-13 season did not happen. Just recognizing a fact that cannot be contradicted. It happened when he was playing RW.

The only viable counter to the AO situation would be that active players should not be considered which I could easily live with. Whether it is openly stated or not the projection bias always sneaks into the debate, evidenced by the discussion of active goalies in the goalie phase of the project.

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07-05-2013, 02:22 PM
  #160
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If we are going to disregard awards earned at another position, where does it end? I don't want to in a situation where we are leafing through box scores to figure out how many of Bure or Fedorov's goals were scored quarterbacking the powerplay.

Ultimately I'm okay with whatever, as long as the standard is understood and can be reasonably applied.

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07-05-2013, 02:59 PM
  #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Because he did not win three Harts at LW. Adding that Hart to his LW resume bumps him over Bobby Hull in that category.
So what if it bumps him over Hull (in that category)? If Ovechkin has more hart trophies than Bobby Hull then he deserves the credit for it and deserves to be ranked higher than Hull (in that category).Is it easier to play RW than LW? It's pretty much the same thing.It's not a scenario where a defenseman gets credit for his total points without anybody mentioning that he played forward for 20 games which boosted his stats.Winning the hart is hard at any position.He won three as a winger , I don't see the big deal between LW and RW.

Sure there's more great right wingers but that's probably because there's more left-handed players.

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07-05-2013, 06:17 PM
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
So we are listing Ovechkin as a LW and comparing him to other LWs as a three-time Hart winner?

That doesn't make sense if one of his Harts specifically came from being moved away from LW and performing better at RW.

I don't mind splitting the wings, but we need to have a rational way to handle conflicts such as this. It doesn't make sense to give players credit at LW for achievements earned at other positions, not when comparing them against players who actually spent their entire careers at LW.
We already did this with Clapper and Kelly in the top Dman project though right?

What is wrong with placing a guy, like AO and voting on him in his primaryposition. It's not like what Red and Milt did at forward and aside from playing D didn't affect how they were treated in the top 60 project.

Put another way, there is no way Kelly is the 6th best Dman of all time, if we only look at his career as a Dman.

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07-05-2013, 06:22 PM
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I used to prefer we did wings before centers IF we split forwards, but I reconsidered for two reasons:

1) If we do centers next, we don't have to decide whether to split up wings yet. We can see how slotting players into C works before deciding whether to do what might be a harder task of splitting up wings.

2) Hawkey Town's point upthread (reposted below) could work then.



Unless anyone has any objections, we don't have to decide whether to split wings up yet then. We'd just have to decide whether the next list was centers or all forwards.
The problem here is a question of threshold, and it would be better to designate the primary position for each player, even in the rare case of a player who had 3 pretty equal stints at all 3 forward positions.

The proposal listed by Hawkey Town would ahve us listing Phil Housley at the forward spot where he played a handful of games at forward, just as an example most of us here can rally behind.

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07-05-2013, 06:45 PM
  #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Participants should be able to slot a player like Ovechkin at both wings if they wish. Making a valid argument for him at both wings would then be their challenge.

Conversely your suggestion allows a player unearned benefits for a position. This is to be avoided. Specifically AO earned two Harts at LW then topped out at the position and changed positions. This has to be recognized. Giving him a third Hart at LW does not work.
Do you follow this argument for all players though? Looking back you had Red Kelly listed 9th of all time, just ahead of Chelios.

There is no justifiable way to place Kelly 9th all time based solely and only on his play at defense.

I had Kelly 6th on my list and looked at all his accomplishments with a focus on his time at defense as many other people did as well for him to finish 6th overall.

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07-06-2013, 08:48 PM
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
The problem here is a question of threshold, and it would be better to designate the primary position for each player, even in the rare case of a player who had 3 pretty equal stints at all 3 forward positions.

The proposal listed by Hawkey Town would ahve us listing Phil Housley at the forward spot where he played a handful of games at forward, just as an example most of us here can rally behind.
I'm assuming that Hawkey Town's proposal is only meant to be used in close cases. For the large majority of players, their primary position is obvious.

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07-06-2013, 11:12 PM
  #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
We already did this with Clapper and Kelly in the top Dman project though right?
In that project we didn't discuss the issue much before we dove in; it was simply left up to the voters as individuals to decide how much weight they wanted to place on extra-positional accomplishments.

That time around it wasn't as big a deal because it was only a real issue for three players (Clapper, Kelly and Howe). This time, it's a significant enough issue that we really need to be on the same general page or the research and voting will be all over the place. We at least need to have a common understanding of what we mean by "X is the Yth best left winger of all time", else this project isn't going to get very far.

Quote:
What is wrong with placing a guy, like AO and voting on him in his primaryposition. It's not like what Red and Milt did at forward and aside from playing D didn't affect how they were treated in the top 60 project.

Put another way, there is no way Kelly is the 6th best Dman of all time, if we only look at his career as a Dman.
Again though, some voters gave those players absolutely minimal credit for their time at forward. Kelly won the equivalent of 4 Norrises; more than anyone ranked after him. He'd have received a similar ranking on the D list whether he played forward or not.

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07-06-2013, 11:13 PM
  #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It would not be misleading to state that Ovechkin won more Harts than any other player in history whose primary position was LW.
But in Ovechkin's case he won a Hart specifically because he was moved AWAY from left wing. It seems absurd to use that Hart to boost his ranking as a LW.

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07-06-2013, 11:33 PM
  #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
But in Ovechkin's case he won a Hart specifically because he was moved AWAY from left wing. It seems absurd to use that Hart to boost his ranking as a LW.
He won the Hart mainly because he finished tied for 1st in points among players who made the playoffs (with the only 2 guys over him being teammates), while being 1st in goals overall, with the only guy close to him being one of those guys who missed the playoffs. Everything else aside, Ovechkin was the "stat pick" for the Hart.

I think that it would be absurd to pretend his 2012-13 season didn't happen when ranking him as a player, which seems to be what you're proposing if we split the wings.


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07-07-2013, 05:40 AM
  #169
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Hart Qualities

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
He won the Hart mainly because he finished tied for 1st in points among players who made the playoffs (with the only 2 guys over him being teammates), while being 1st in goals overall, with the only guy close to him being one of those guys who missed the playoffs. Everything else aside, Ovechkin was the "stat pick" for the Hart.

I think that it would be absurd to pretend his 2012-13 season didn't happen when ranking him as a player, which seems to be what you're proposing if we split the wings.
Suggest looking at team performance and Ovechkin's impact once he became atuned to RW. Capitals first 12 games were 3-8-1, last 36 they were 24-10-2 once AO mastered the change. A Hart worthy team contribution resulted.

Again no pretentions are being made that the 2012-13 season did not happen, just a better description of how it happened.

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07-07-2013, 10:44 AM
  #170
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Put another way, there is no way Kelly is the 6th best Dman of all time, if we only look at his career as a Dman.
Ok, so let's look at this realistically then.

Red Kelly played ten years as a defenseman and ten years as a defenseman. As a defenseman, he was considered the outright best defenseman (based on AST and Norris voting) four times, the second best defenseman twice, third once, fourth once. Even while primarily playing forward, he still finished sixth in Norris voting once. So if we count that as eleven seasons, that's nine top-six finishes. That's a comparable ratio to Raymond Bourque (20 in 22) and Nicklas Lidstrom (16 in 20), and better than Doug Harvey (11 in 17/19).

Even without considering the four straight Norrises/retro Norrises, Kelly was clearly about as elite as they come.

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07-07-2013, 11:50 AM
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
In that project we didn't discuss the issue much before we dove in; it was simply left up to the voters as individuals to decide how much weight they wanted to place on extra-positional accomplishments.

That time around it wasn't as big a deal because it was only a real issue for three players (Clapper, Kelly and Howe). This time, it's a significant enough issue that we really need to be on the same general page or the research and voting will be all over the place. We at least need to have a common understanding of what we mean by "X is the Yth best left winger of all time", else this project isn't going to get very far.



Again though, some voters gave those players absolutely minimal credit for their time at forward. Kelly won the equivalent of 4 Norrises; more than anyone ranked after him. He'd have received a similar ranking on the D list whether he played forward or not.
That's highly unlikely, he was 6th all time and was only in competition with Harvey for a very short period of time.

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07-07-2013, 12:16 PM
  #172
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Ok, so let's look at this realistically then.

Red Kelly played ten years as a defenseman and ten years as a defenseman. As a defenseman, he was considered the outright best defenseman (based on AST and Norris voting) four times, the second best defenseman twice, third once, fourth once. Even while primarily playing forward, he still finished sixth in Norris voting once. So if we count that as eleven seasons, that's nine top-six finishes. That's a comparable ratio to Raymond Bourque (20 in 22) and Nicklas Lidstrom (16 in 20), and better than Doug Harvey (11 in 17/19).

Even without considering the four straight Norrises/retro Norrises, Kelly was clearly about as elite as they come.
Yes, my argument for ranking Kelly over Potvin was that his time as a dman alone was about equal to Potvin, then add his time as a forward as a "tiebreaker." The majority didn't quite buy it, though Kelly was a strong #7 behind Potvin.

Regardless, I think Dit Clapper was the only player on the defenseman project whose time at forward had the potential to change his ranking more than a spot or two.

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07-07-2013, 01:56 PM
  #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Ok, so let's look at this realistically then.

Red Kelly played ten years as a defenseman and ten years as a defenseman. As a defenseman, he was considered the outright best defenseman (based on AST and Norris voting) four times, the second best defenseman twice, third once, fourth once. Even while primarily playing forward, he still finished sixth in Norris voting once. So if we count that as eleven seasons, that's nine top-six finishes. That's a comparable ratio to Raymond Bourque (20 in 22) and Nicklas Lidstrom (16 in 20), and better than Doug Harvey (11 in 17/19).

Even without considering the four straight Norrises/retro Norrises, Kelly was clearly about as elite as they come.
At some point we have to look at the quality of competition don't we?

I can see the case for Kelly over Potvin if we include his overall time, even though I would still have Potvin ahead.

But on time spent on D alone Potvin clearly has the better resume, all star voting aside. Kelly has 10 or 11 seasons depending on where one cuts his time off, Potvin has 15 excellent to elite NHL regular seasons and his 1st 9 playoff season rival what Kelly did as a Dman in the playoffs as well.


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07-07-2013, 02:09 PM
  #174
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Assuming there is such a situation?
What about Pavel Bure, who won the Calder playing primarily LW and spent the majority of his career on the RW?

Or Brendan Shanahan? He is known to most as a LW but had some of his best seasons playing RW.

Mark Messier is an example that has already been mentioned; his best goal scoring years came playing the left wing.

Glenn Anderson played both wings throughout his career. He's generally identified as "Messier's RW", but his peak season came when he was Gretzky's LW. He briefly played the left side for Gilmour in Toronto, before ending up back on Messier's RW in New York.

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
That's highly unlikely, he was 6th all time and was only in competition with Harvey for a very short period of time.
Had Kelly continued as a defenseman, he'd have been in competition with Harvey for many years. As it stands, Kelly was considered better than Harvey seven of the ten seasons both were NHL defensemen compared to three for Harvey. Both began play in 1947-48. We'll look at Hart voting for the remaining seasons.

In Kelly's ten seasons at forward, Harvey beats him 3-2 in seven overlapping seasons (I'm not counting 1963-64 where Harvey only played 14 games). So it's clear that although Kelly switched to forward full-time, he was still quite talented. Had he remained on defense, it's entirely possible he would have beaten Harvey in defense voting those years. Which would have made it nine to six in Kelly's favor, with two no-votes. And even if Harvey wins every single one of those five, it only flips to 8-7.

And also... ten seasons is not a short period of time, especially when the defensemen in question start their careers the same season.


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07-07-2013, 02:13 PM
  #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Had Kelly continued as a defenseman, he'd have been in competition with Harvey for many years. As it stands, Kelly was considered better than Harvey seven of the ten seasons both were NHL defensemen compared to three for Harvey. Both began play in 1947-48. We'll look at Hart voting for the remaining seasons.

In Kelly's ten seasons at forward, Harvey beats him 3-2 in seven overlapping seasons (I'm not counting 1963-64 where Harvey only played 14 games). So it's clear that although Kelly switched to forward full-time, he was still quite talented. Had he remained on defense, it's entirely possible he would have beaten Harvey in defense voting those years. Which would have made it nine to six in Kelly's favor, with two no-votes. And even if Harvey wins every single one of those five, it only flips to 8-7.

And also... ten seasons is not a short period of time, especially when the defensemen in question start their careers the same season.
Extremely unlikely, considering Kelly was already declining as a defenseman before the trade to Toronto, and that Harvey was already demolishing him in the voting before he started to decline.

Anyway, if you want to talk about this further, please make a new thread.

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