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Mirtle: NHLPA’s hard-liners hint at decertification after latest offer rejected

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Old
11-23-2012, 07:52 PM
  #401
thinkwild
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I've seen it asked a lot - why havent the players decertified already?

Perhaps they were naive enough to believe they could negotiate a fair deal with bettman and the union busting power broker owners?

But i guess from the owners point of view, the PA dressed up really provocatively in that sexy new Don Fehr mini skirt with high heels, and so they had no choice but to try and bend them over and plow.

But then again its not even December yet, and the players have been saying for months now that they dont think they will see the owners best offer until december. And Bettmans lockout playbook is a well traveled road, every one knows what he is doing. Waiting until the last minute when pressure is highest and crisis managing, preferably as the players are fighting amongst themselves. There will be players fighting, but decertification is a majority vote. Fans have been clamouring for a vote lately i've noticed. They might be surprised.

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11-23-2012, 07:53 PM
  #402
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Originally Posted by thinkwild View Post
For sure the wimp owners will fold. No doubt, better to throw away a hundred million than attempt to use ingenuity.

I think the billionaires could afford the damages. Its also hard to believe how so many fear for their teams future if its management had to operate like say every restaurant owner in the country, or every consulting firm, or like Proskauer Rose.

Good management would more critical than ever. Building a winner will require great recruiting and team building.

If the players were to decertify, they would have to mean it. The owners could rightly argue its a sham if it was.

They wouldnt have to sue to end the lockout right away. They would start by taking sole control of their pension plan and reworking how that would now be managed going forward. Future players will likely be as many tradesmen and have to be responsible much more for their pension savings.

I guess every player currently receiving the league minimum would see a pay cut. Are there any? If not, why not?

Mid level and character players wont necessarily be much worse off. If there is any demand for them on a trade deadline day, and there always is, they will get leverage for a good deal. And we know how much of a team sport and how important those bottom guys are. Remember how detroit was infamously accused of loading up its 4th line with two expensive old goats and a kid? And to win you will have to compete for the small amount of talent that can keep you competitive.

The stars may start making a lot more money, but not necessarily all at the expense of bottom line players as much as from the new 75% of revenues the owners would likely start spending.

The players could accept the owners deal, go back to work, and then decertify but not sue right away, Play the season out.
Again, what damages? How have the players or NHLPA been damaged? The players have been playing under a CBA negotiated by the NHLPA. The owers were under no obligation to continue operating under the old CBA and there was a union to bargain with on a new one. I don't see any damages at all.

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11-23-2012, 07:54 PM
  #403
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Let's remember that 60 percent of players don't have contracts for next season.

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11-23-2012, 07:58 PM
  #404
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Originally Posted by WinterEmpire View Post
First their wouldn't be a draft, all players would be free agents.

Second they wouldn't come up with anything. Any sort of collusion would be highly illegal and cost them their fortunes. Plus the only teams that would benefit from collusion are the bottom feeders of the league. You aren't going to see the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens, Canucks etc getting together to risk their franchises to help out the Florida Panthers.
There wouldnt be a draft if the players sued i guess. Or one player sued - And won. Its not a given.

The owners would have to come up with the new rules for their league now. Your assumption that they would cancel the draft, just conceding that its a violation rather than dragging it out through court to deplete the PA's lawyer bill fund is one possibility.

What other rule changes would they likely announce for their new league going forward with this new decertified players environment? How would they cope in this new world, forced to operate like every other business competing for talent?

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11-23-2012, 08:00 PM
  #405
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
Again, what damages? How have the players or NHLPA been damaged? The players have been playing under a CBA negotiated by the NHLPA. The owers were under no obligation to continue operating under the old CBA and there was a union to bargain with on a new one. I don't see any damages at all.
There's no damages yet. Damages would be as a result of an antitrust suit. There's a plethora of them that would start to take place. The first to sue for the damages to all the players with contracts and perishable careers who were locked out. Perhaps there would be no damages needed. Perhaps the owners will just operate honourably as businessmen billionaires competing for a Cup under free market rules and there will be no need for suits and damages.

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11-23-2012, 08:01 PM
  #406
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If decertifying was such an obvious solution, PA would have done it already.

Crosby & co probably can see no harm but how about those 3rd or 4th line players? What about those who realize that they are very easily replaceable. I'd be very worried if I were them.

Let the players vote both on the "best offer NHL gives" and "decertifying". I'd be surprised if the majority didn't take NHL's offer and I'd be VERY surprised if majority of PA wants to decertify.

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11-23-2012, 08:03 PM
  #407
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Those easily replaceable players now arent going to need to be more worried. They arent exactly living worry free now. And they arent the majority voting either.

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11-23-2012, 08:24 PM
  #408
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Will the PA decertify for good?

"Do I think it’s likely they’ll give up unionism permanently? I can see some reasons why they might want to. But I think the league might really push them to stay in a union as much as they possibly could.

It’s like this bizarro world where if you talk to most industries, management doesn’t want their employees to be unionized, but it’s the exact flip situation in pro sports."


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle5621052/

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11-23-2012, 08:26 PM
  #409
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Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/dece...0813--nhl.html

Decertifying union dangerous step for players

And that’s exactly what the NHL would argue in court if the NHLPA moved to decertify according to Eric Macramalla, a legal analyst for TSN who writes an excellent blog at offsidesportslaw.com (@ericonsportslaw on Twitter). In fact, Macramalla said that when the National Football League argued precisely the same thing in court during its lockout, the NHL submitted what is called an amicus brief as an interested third party.

“And (the NHL) would argue the same thing, that decertification is a sham,” Macramalla said. “(They’ll maintain) it’s akin to switching a light switch on and off. ‘I’m a union, but now it’s no longer convenient, so I hit the light switch and I’m no longer a union.’ So their argument will be that it’s a sham designed to extract leverage in CBA negotiations and for no other reasons.”


But it can also be a long, drawn-out process which the players themselves will have to support financially and there’s no guarantee they would be successful. But as Macramalla argued, it worked for NFL players, largely because the ramifications for the owners have the potential to be catastrophic, which in turn prompts them to get back to the bargaining table. And the players know this will never get to court because in order for that process to play out, it would take three or four years to unfold.
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Originally Posted by ti-vite View Post
Bettman placing his pawns early, this should be interesting.

No big deal to the "friend of the court"/amicus curiae can be anyone who offers information that helps the court make its decision. In these cases, the decisions a court would make might set a precedent that would affect the other leagues, hence their 'friendliness.' When the NHL was arguing against Moyes and Balsillie sales bid that would have had the Coyotes relocated to Hamilton without NHL consent, the other three leagues filed amicus briefs.


That said, the judges don't have to read the briefs. Here's an interesting NYT article on one Harvard professor's perspective on such briefs:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/us...t-filings.html

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11-23-2012, 08:28 PM
  #410
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Yes, I do. Fehr is an attorney by training. He has a fiduciary responsibility to represent the interests of the people who pay him.

To claim otherwise would mean I needed to believe he had some personal, ulterior motive, which would mean not only is he duplicitous (and a liar), but that he is hijacking this process for his own purposes while misrepresenting the issues to his players.

People get sent to jail for that type of thing, and/or even stripped of their right to represent by the legal associations in which they have earned the right to practice.
I don't think anyone's ever been sent to jail for it.

Disbarred, sure. But trying to get him jailed for it would be extremely difficult to do.

His defense would likely be that he is trying to represent the majority of the union, and I believe the players are divided almost equally on the issues.

On one hand, you have Biznasty, DiPietro, Redden, and others like them who want a deal done soon. On the other hand you have megastars or soon to be megastars looking forward to their next UFA deal who want to squeeze every last drop out of the orange they could with a juicer that is leaking ~$8m/day.

Its a lose/lose situation.

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11-23-2012, 08:38 PM
  #411
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This was originally posted by Yukon Joe who identified himself as a lawyer on the Jets board (and if I knew how to quote from one thread to another I would have done so).

Quote:
Both sides have a lot to lose, and a lot to gain, with decertification and subsequent anti-trust litigation. The players might get a ruling that the 30 teams are independent businesses, and any restraint of trade - be it the draft, salary caps or anything else, are illegal.

But maybe they lose. NHL is found to be one business, competing with other sports leagues. With no union the league then gets carte blanche to set any rules it wants.

I'd have to search. I don't think NBA or NFL either got final decisions on these points, but the results were leading against the NFLPA.
I haven't heard much about this concept of the NHL being ruled as one business. Wouldn't that be a ***** for the players. Talking about cutting your own **** off.

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11-23-2012, 08:48 PM
  #412
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^^^ You should read this thread before bringing this stuff up. It's been discussed and dismissed.


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Originally Posted by KingBogo View Post
This was originally posted by Yukon Joe who identified himself as a lawyer on the Jets board (and if I knew how to quote from one thread to another I would have done so).

Both sides have a lot to lose, and a lot to gain, with decertification and subsequent anti-trust litigation. The players might get a ruling that the 30 teams are independent businesses, and any restraint of trade - be it the draft, salary caps or anything else, are illegal.

But maybe they lose. NHL is found to be one business, competing with other sports leagues. With no union the league then gets carte blanche to set any rules it wants.

I'd have to search. I don't think NBA or NFL either got final decisions on these points, but the results were leading against the NFLPA.


I haven't heard much about this concept of the NHL being ruled as one business. Wouldn't that be a ***** for the players. Talking about cutting your own **** off.
Quote in that thread, copy the quoted area in the window that pops up, then paste here.

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11-23-2012, 09:04 PM
  #413
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From the players' perspective, a loss probably looks like the current scenario - where the owners use the expiry of every CBA to take money and rights away from the players.

A win looks like the NHL actually has to negotiate in good faith and can't just resort to hardball tactics.

The players do benefit from a union. If they're screwed over by a team, the union is there for them. A structured system is good for them too - maybe the current one is too owner friendly, but they have to acknowledge that franchises need stability to in order to provide sustainable employment for them.

But what they can't have is to allow the owners to run roughshod over them. At this point, they've given the NHL everything it needs to be successful, and more. The fact that the NHL is demanding even more concession shows that this isn't about the health of the business, but about subverting the union.

If the players cave for two lockouts in a row, they might as well just decertify regardless, because the union won't be worth anything anyhow, aside from a cover for the owners.

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11-23-2012, 09:09 PM
  #414
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
^^^ You should read this thread before bringing this stuff up. It's been discussed and dismissed.




Quote in that thread, copy the quoted area in the window that pops up, then paste here.
Please share how it was dismissed. Between work, family and other commitments I just can't keep up with all the posts regarding the lockout. Thank you for you help.

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11-23-2012, 09:09 PM
  #415
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Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
From the players' perspective, a loss probably looks like the current scenario - where the owners use the expiry of every CBA to take money and rights away from the players.

A win looks like the NHL actually has to negotiate in good faith and can't just resort to hardball tactics.

The players do benefit from a union. If they're screwed over by a team, the union is there for them. A structured system is good for them too - maybe the current one is too owner friendly, but they have to acknowledge that franchises need stability to in order to provide sustainable employment for them.

But what they can't have is to allow the owners to run roughshod over them. At this point, they've given the NHL everything it needs to be successful, and more. The fact that the NHL is demanding even more concession shows that this isn't about the health of the business, but about subverting the union.

If the players cave for two lockouts in a row, they might as well just decertify regardless, because the union won't be worth anything anyhow, aside from a cover for the owners.
They were given rights in the last CBA. Going from 31 year old UFA to possibly 25 year old UFA off of an 18 year old playing ELC is a game changer.

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11-23-2012, 09:15 PM
  #416
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Oh, and another thing that the NHLPA winning the legal battle over decertification does: the NHL ends up paying a ton of damages. Add up all the lost salaries and multiply by three. If the NHL resumes play, the court will likely assess any lost financial opportunities during this time as damages as well.. again, multiplied by three.

I don't think we'd see any franchises actually disappear. Quite a few would move. Lots would get sold in bankruptcy but remain in their current markets.

I tell you one group of people who have got to be feeling pretty uncomfortable right now: bankers who have given out loans based on franchise value.

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11-23-2012, 09:16 PM
  #417
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Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
From the players' perspective, a loss probably looks like the current scenario - where the owners use the expiry of every CBA to take money and rights away from the players.

A win looks like the NHL actually has to negotiate in good faith and can't just resort to hardball tactics.

The players do benefit from a union. If they're screwed over by a team, the union is there for them. A structured system is good for them too - maybe the current one is too owner friendly, but they have to acknowledge that franchises need stability to in order to provide sustainable employment for them.

But what they can't have is to allow the owners to run roughshod over them. At this point, they've given the NHL everything it needs to be successful, and more. The fact that the NHL is demanding even more concession shows that this isn't about the health of the business, but about subverting the union.

If the players cave for two lockouts in a row, they might as well just decertify regardless, because the union won't be worth anything anyhow, aside from a cover for the owners.
Too owner friendly? Nearly half, if not more of owners are losing money, another bunch struggling just to break even while the players have seen their average salary nearly double over the course of the last CBA and even saw a considerable rise in the average salary in comparison to the pre-salary cap CBA.

The owners aren't asking for anything onerous here. The CBA they are offering is still more player friendly than either the NBA (it's closest counterpart) or the NFL. And that's despite being a much less profitable sport. That's not saying everything the owners have done in these negotiations have been just peachy,, but the notion that they are just trying to break the union isn't really supported. They've offered a deal better than the one the NBAPA got last year, even after the NBAPA filed to decertify. NHL is trying to get their CBA in line with other sports, other more profitable sports.

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11-23-2012, 09:24 PM
  #418
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Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
They were given rights in the last CBA. Going from 31 year old UFA to possibly 25 year old UFA off of an 18 year old playing ELC is a game changer.
Yes, but now the NHL is trying to take that back. Give a concession in one CBA, take it back the next. See how this works?

If this does go to the courts, going to be mighty interesting to see what gets dug up. Did the NHL give concessions in 2006 only because they planned to take them back down the road?

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11-23-2012, 09:27 PM
  #419
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Yes, I do. Fehr is an attorney by training. He has a fiduciary responsibility to represent the interests of the people who pay him.

To claim otherwise would mean I needed to believe he had some personal, ulterior motive, which would mean not only is he duplicitous (and a liar), but that he is hijacking this process for his own purposes while misrepresenting the issues to his players.

People get sent to jail for that type of thing, and/or even stripped of their right to represent by the legal associations in which they have earned the right to practice.
Fehr is the Union's legal council. The way he frames this process has a huge influence on what happens. The grand majority of players are not going to contradict Fehr. So while, yes, technically he does what they say, they seem to tell him to do whatever he thinks is the best thing to do. What happened this week might have been a minor exception, but it seems like this "linkage" he's proposing is more of a facade then anything. I can't say if the players were aware or not of the big caveats, but it wouldn't surprise me seeing as how they have proven to not be the brightest bunch.

And since the best thing to do would be to get a deal and play hockey and stop bleeding the players' salaries and that's not happening I have to question Fehr's motives. I'm not saying the PA should just bend over take whatever the owners offer them, but don't stall for months and weeks at a time and stop proposing things that don't have a hope in Hades of being accepted and then cry foul. He is just as guilty of refusing to negotiate as the owners are (the owners have done the same, I'm certainly not denying that, but they started moving in the direction of the players long before the players started to move in the direction of the owners, which only happened on Wednesday )

ALL that needs to be done is take the owner's economic proposal (they are afterall only $182 million apart if Fehr is to be believed) and concede on year to year contract variance. give in on other contracting rights, test the league to see how serious they are on those. I think that would be a very reasonable step. The onus would then fall on the owner to move off their positions on contracting rights. If the players did that there'd be a deal in place quickly.

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11-23-2012, 09:28 PM
  #420
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Yes, but now the NHL is trying to take that back. Give a concession in one CBA, take it back the next. See how this works?

If this does go to the courts, going to be mighty interesting to see what gets dug up. Did the NHL give concessions in 2006 only because they planned to take them back down the road?
You said they did nothing but take rights. Which was untrue. Then after getting proven wrong... easily, I might add, you go into conspiracy mode. No one gives rights to take them away. You just wouldn't give them in that case. They had to give *something* back because of the financial changes.

And what happens in the negotiations remains to be seen. I have my doubts that the requirements to go UFA are going to change at all. It seems like ELC is not much of a stickler after all. So that leaves contract length. The original league position is ridiculous but they haven't started even negotiating on it yet.

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11-23-2012, 09:41 PM
  #421
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For sure the wimp owners will fold. No doubt, better to throw away a hundred million than attempt to use ingenuity.

I think the billionaires could afford the damages. Its also hard to believe how so many fear for their teams future if its management had to operate like say every restaurant owner in the country, or every consulting firm, or like Proskauer Rose.

Good management would more critical than ever. Building a winner will require great recruiting and team building.

If the players were to decertify, they would have to mean it. The owners could rightly argue its a sham if it was.

They wouldnt have to sue to end the lockout right away. They would start by taking sole control of their pension plan and reworking how that would now be managed going forward. Future players will likely be as many tradesmen and have to be responsible much more for their pension savings.

I guess every player currently receiving the league minimum would see a pay cut. Are there any? If not, why not?

Mid level and character players wont necessarily be much worse off. If there is any demand for them on a trade deadline day, and there always is, they will get leverage for a good deal. And we know how much of a team sport and how important those bottom guys are. Remember how detroit was infamously accused of loading up its 4th line with two expensive old goats and a kid? And to win you will have to compete for the small amount of talent that can keep you competitive.

The stars may start making a lot more money, but not necessarily all at the expense of bottom line players as much as from the new 75% of revenues the owners would likely start spending.

The players could accept the owners deal, go back to work, and then decertify but not sue right away, Play the season out.
Your negating the second and probably the easiest way for small market or small fan base markets to make money. Don't spend any money on players or very little. How many times have you seen posted "I would play for free if I had the chance." Guess what you just might have your chance. Owners could actually field a team at minimum wage to play the $200 million payroll NYR the score may be 100-0 but both owners would make money. You just have to market it more like a concert than a professional hockey league.

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11-23-2012, 09:52 PM
  #422
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I tell you one group of people who have got to be feeling pretty uncomfortable right now: bankers who have given out loans based on franchise value.
Bingo.

If this season gets wasted over $40M a year, a lot of business owners are going to realize they've made a big mistake.

Keep on being greedy, NHL owners.

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11-23-2012, 10:04 PM
  #423
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... what do you think jimmy, he doesnt lay out the various options & scenarios' openly, honestly & honourably, looking for consensus & then direction from the 30 Player Reps? He just does what he wants, has an agenda? Darwined the players like Eagleson?
It's a pissing match between the Fehr and the Count. Anyone that doesn't see that at this point is blind, deaf and dumb. sorry but I don't know how to characterize this in any other terms.

What a freakin' shame for our game.


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11-23-2012, 10:20 PM
  #424
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You said they did nothing but take rights. Which was untrue. Then after getting proven wrong... easily, I might add, you go into conspiracy mode. No one gives rights to take them away.
The owners gave out billions in contracts this offseason only to try to take some of that money back in the 'same' calendar year. You're probably correct about the FA rights, but I can't put much past this disingenous group of owners.

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11-23-2012, 10:23 PM
  #425
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The owners gave out billions in contracts this offseason only to try to take some of that money back in the 'same' calendar year. You're probably right about the FA rights, but I can't put much past this disingenous group of owners.
And players have been taking large portions of their deals upfront for the last two offseasons. It's a two-way street. Also after seven years, the players should have been able to figure out how a linked system works.

It would be easier to have a system where everyone gets 3.3333333333% of available revenue to divide up by a %, but no one would like that.

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