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'74 draft - Connor and Risebrough, why not Larouche?`

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Old
08-09-2008, 01:38 PM
  #1
Megaforce
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'74 draft - Connor and Risebrough, why not Larouche?`

Maybe someone can explain this to me... the Canadiens passed twice on drafting Pierre Larouche in 1974. And yet he had torn up the Quebec Junior League with numbers that had never before been seen and are still only surpassed by Mario Lemieux. Cam Connor couldn't do anything and Doug Risebrough, while an okay player, wasn't exactly top line material.

The others ahead of Larouche were pretty mediocre as well.

Larouche, of course, went on to become a pretty amazing scorer.

We eventually got Larouche and he did well for us, but can anybody explain why the initial snub?


1 Greg Joly (D) Washington Capitals Regina Pats (WCHL)
2 Wilf Paiement (R) Kansas City Scouts St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
3 Rick Hampton (D) California Golden Seals St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
4 Clark Gillies (F) New York Islanders Regina Pats (WCHL)
5 Cam Connor (R) Montreal Canadiens Flin Flon Bombers (WCHL)
6 Doug Hicks (D) Minnesota North Stars Flin Flon Bombers (WCHL)
7 Doug Risebrough (F) Montreal Canadiens Kitchener Rangers (OHA)

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08-09-2008, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaforce View Post
Maybe someone can explain this to me... the Canadiens passed twice on drafting Pierre Larouche in 1974. And yet he had torn up the Quebec Junior League with numbers that had never before been seen and are still only surpassed by Mario Lemieux. Cam Connor couldn't do anything and Doug Risebrough, while an okay player, wasn't exactly top line material.

The others ahead of Larouche were pretty mediocre as well.

Larouche, of course, went on to become a pretty amazing scorer.

We eventually got Larouche and he did well for us, but can anybody explain why the initial snub?


1 Greg Joly (D) Washington Capitals Regina Pats (WCHL)
2 Wilf Paiement (R) Kansas City Scouts St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
3 Rick Hampton (D) California Golden Seals St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
4 Clark Gillies (F) New York Islanders Regina Pats (WCHL)
5 Cam Connor (R) Montreal Canadiens Flin Flon Bombers (WCHL)
6 Doug Hicks (D) Minnesota North Stars Flin Flon Bombers (WCHL)
7 Doug Risebrough (F) Montreal Canadiens Kitchener Rangers (OHA)
We all know that Gilles and Risebrough had good careers and were key players for their teams in their Stanley Cup runs and wins.

Larouche was a scorer, but he didn't have the complete package like Gilles and Risebrough. Montreal had scoring in place in Guy, Shutt and others and needed core two way players as well.

Larouche you could say would be a player like Ryder who can score, but doesn't have the 'whole package' to make him a top pick like you would do in a player like Chipchura or Komisarek. Are those guys going to score you a ton of goals? No, but they are probably going to be playing against the other teams top players and be on the ice for key faceoffs and other high circumstance situations.

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08-09-2008, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaforce View Post
Maybe someone can explain this to me... the Canadiens passed twice on drafting Pierre Larouche in 1974. And yet he had torn up the Quebec Junior League with numbers that had never before been seen and are still only surpassed by Mario Lemieux. Cam Connor couldn't do anything and Doug Risebrough, while an okay player, wasn't exactly top line material.

The others ahead of Larouche were pretty mediocre as well.

Larouche, of course, went on to become a pretty amazing scorer.

We eventually got Larouche and he did well for us, but can anybody explain why the initial snub?


1 Greg Joly (D) Washington Capitals Regina Pats (WCHL)
2 Wilf Paiement (R) Kansas City Scouts St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
3 Rick Hampton (D) California Golden Seals St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
4 Clark Gillies (F) New York Islanders Regina Pats (WCHL)
5 Cam Connor (R) Montreal Canadiens Flin Flon Bombers (WCHL)
6 Doug Hicks (D) Minnesota North Stars Flin Flon Bombers (WCHL)
7 Doug Risebrough (F) Montreal Canadiens Kitchener Rangers (OHA)
Did you ever see Risebrough play?

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08-09-2008, 01:53 PM
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Megaforce
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Gillies was okay for a while, but I always thought that he was riding the coattails of his linemates Trottier and Bossy.

Risebrough..umm...I think of him as a little down the charts from Pierre Mondou.

As for Ryder...

Ryder's final year in junior:
1999-00 Hull Olympiques 50 58 108

Larouche's final year in Junior
1973-74 Sorel Black Hawks 94 157 251

Ryder didn't rank in the top 10 in any offensive category.

Larouche was first in scoring, 25 points ahead of the second place getter.

In fact, Larouche set a record for the most points by a junior in any Canadian junior league, a record that lasted 10 years.

I don't get why he wasn't a no brainer for first overall.


Last edited by Megaforce: 08-09-2008 at 01:58 PM.
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08-09-2008, 01:58 PM
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Larouche was great at accumulating points. That doesn't make you #1 overall. Pollock wanted guys who he could win with, guys who could fill roles. Larouche was never that guy for anyone. His hands in tight, the inner arc of the circles in, were as good as I've evere seen, but he just wasn't a guy a coach would count on.

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08-09-2008, 02:03 PM
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It's been forever, but in 1974 iirc the NHL decided that (because of the WHA) each team was allowed one underage pick in the first two rounds. So, Larouche would have to have been ahead of Mario Tremblay (who was a helluva player btw) and the Habs liked him more.

Your point still applies, the Habs had two swings at Larouche and passed. My guess was they liked Tremblay better, Larouche was highly skilled but Montreal was flush in that area (skill wingers were Lafleur and Cournoyer) and Risebrough offered a nice combination of skills behind Mahovlich and Lemaire.

And Tremblay was something else altogether.

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08-09-2008, 02:05 PM
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Sure, but Cam Connor?

He made Perry Turnbull look like Newsy Lalonde.

Larouche, meanwhile, was an immediate rock star in Pittsburgh and that was foreseeable based on the numbers, besides, he was a native son.

Surely you will admit that Pollock blundered on this one.

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08-09-2008, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Megaforce View Post
Sure, but Cam Connor?

He made Perry Turnbull look like Newsy Lalonde.

Larouche, meanwhile, was an immediate rock star in Pittsburgh and that was foreseeable based on the numbers, besides, he was a native son.

Surely you will admit that Pollock blundered on this one.
Connor was a mistake, but hey it's the draft...I'd take Sam Pollock's line of thinking any day! I think we can forgive Sam for that one...

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08-09-2008, 02:55 PM
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the 1973-74 QMJHL season was probably the highest scoring season of all-time.

the Sorel Blackhawks scored 620 goals. Their First line (Larouche-Deziel-Cossette) combined for 283 goals and 692 pts.

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08-09-2008, 03:57 PM
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Just think, in 74 the Habs had 5 first rounders and didn't even give Bryan Trottier a look. Pollock was great, but he wasn't perfect.

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08-09-2008, 04:13 PM
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Larouche was a top 5 player in the league in terms of skill who won skills competition. He was an amazing player who developed problesm with Lafleur with partying. He was a top 5 talent. If his head was on right he would have been a shoo in for the hall of fame.


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Originally Posted by RE-HABS View Post
We all know that Gilles and Risebrough had good careers and were key players for their teams in their Stanley Cup runs and wins.

Larouche was a scorer, but he didn't have the complete package like Gilles and Risebrough. Montreal had scoring in place in Guy, Shutt and others and needed core two way players as well.

Larouche you could say would be a player like Ryder who can score, but doesn't have the 'whole package' to make him a top pick like you would do in a player like Chipchura or Komisarek. Are those guys going to score you a ton of goals? No, but they are probably going to be playing against the other teams top players and be on the ice for key faceoffs and other high circumstance situations.

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08-09-2008, 08:44 PM
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I remember when Larouche came from Pittsburgh to Montreal in 79 - 80. Even though he scored 50 with the Habs the following year, Bowman wasn't always pleased with him. A Hockey News article told how displeased Bowman was with Larouche's play in his own end.

Bowman exploded at Larouche during practice one time, screaming at him "The hardest thing to do in hockey is put the puck in the net. You can do that blind-folded. The easiest thing to do in hockey is skate back into your own end. You refuse to do that."

Montreal never drafted Larouche, but when they got him later, they never kept him either. They traded him away when he was only 27.

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08-09-2008, 10:02 PM
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I remember when Larouche came from Pittsburgh to Montreal in 79 - 80. Even though he scored 50 with the Habs the following year, Bowman wasn't always pleased with him. A Hockey News article told how displeased Bowman was with Larouche's play in his own end.

Bowman exploded at Larouche during practice one time, screaming at him "The hardest thing to do in hockey is put the puck in the net. You can do that blind-folded. The easiest thing to do in hockey is skate back into your own end. You refuse to do that."

Montreal never drafted Larouche, but when they got him later, they never kept him either. They traded him away when he was only 27.
Basically, next to Larouche, Pierre Turgeon was a freaking warrior. Should give people an idea of the type of player he was.

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08-09-2008, 10:10 PM
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How much backchecking does a winger have to do anyway?

He just has to cover the point in his own zone, it's not like a centerman who has to come all the way deep into his own zone.

Bowman also ended Real Cloutier's relatively productive career in Buffalo when he charged him with insufficient backchecking.

Larouche went on to score 48 for the Rangers in 83-85 but they send him to the minors for half a season in 85-86. Something about a thumb injury but I can't figure out why he was down there for so long.

Larouche was a temporary captain of the Rangers in 1987 and retired due to chronic back injuries.

I don't there's any real evidence that he screwed up his career due to excessive partying, he was no Bryan Fogarty or Jacques Richard.

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08-09-2008, 10:13 PM
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How much backchecking does a winger have to do anyway?

He just has to cover the point in his own zone, it's not like a centerman who has to come all the way deep into his own zone.
Larouche was a center.

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08-09-2008, 10:19 PM
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Oh. I thought I saw him listed as a winger.

Maybe they should have just put him on the wing instead.

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08-09-2008, 10:40 PM
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Would, should could
That's all the past, you can't change it
I don't really get all this talk
Is he your father?

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08-09-2008, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaforce View Post
Gillies was okay for a while, but I always thought that he was riding the coattails of his linemates Trottier and Bossy.

Risebrough..umm...I think of him as a little down the charts from Pierre Mondou.

As for Ryder...

Ryder's final year in junior:
1999-00 Hull Olympiques 50 58 108

Larouche's final year in Junior
1973-74 Sorel Black Hawks 94 157 251

Ryder didn't rank in the top 10 in any offensive category.

Larouche was first in scoring, 25 points ahead of the second place getter.

In fact, Larouche set a record for the most points by a junior in any Canadian junior league, a record that lasted 10 years.

I don't get why he wasn't a no brainer for first overall.
Well Michel Dezeil never played an NHL game and had 92 goals and 227 points that season, so he should have been the 2nd overall then???

Also, this dude scored a 100 goals that season and never played a game; http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p....php3?pid=8507

I think your over rating points for player over what a player can contribute to a team in overall play.

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08-10-2008, 12:58 AM
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Megaforce
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We assume sports is a meritocracy. In other words, it's pure performance and no favoritism.

However I suspect that in fact the grey hairs in suits frequently favour certain players based on prejudices. They decide they like one kid and they decide they don't like another kid based on sometimes really random stuff. Some kid who has a brush cut and calls people "sir" (hi there Chipchura) becomes favoured whereas some other kid with immense talent that might come from a bit more of a troubled background will be ignored because a scout decides he doesn't like him..who knows why, maybe because he looks like a snotty kid or doesn't hold his knife in the right hand at the team dinner. They can't like 'em all, so the ones they like have a big advantage.

The management is then motivated to justify its decision by seeing the kid they liked succeed while watching the other fail.

So some guy like Daziel or whatever his name was, could thave done well if he had been given the proper steroids...err..I mean encouragement but nobody wanted to go out on a limb for him, so it never happened. Guys like Danny Geoffrion were never top scorers in their leagues but they got their shot at the big leagues, whereas other kids didn't. Doesn't hurt to have friends in high places.

When you look at the cases of Mike Danton or Sheldon Kennedy you can see that even young kids know that getting on the good side of the agents and coaches is the difference between success and failure, even if it drives you crazy or to drugs (hello Theoren Fleury).

So it's probably more random than we think, if Pollock had drafted Larouche and really broken him down, told him if he could learn to backcheck he could become an all time great, the kid would have bought into the program and we'd have seen a much different result.

I'm no insider but I believe that the cream doesn't always rise to the top, it's the kids who are encouraged and cultivated that get there, and why those kids are chosen is not always entirely clear.

Personally I like flashy, offensive hockey, never liked the shutdown players like Carbonneau and Jarvis although Gainey was pretty exciting to watch. So players like Larouche or Grabovski, guys with lightning in their hands and feet, are the players I'm always cheering for. I'd like to see more of them in the league because goals are exciting and blocked shots aren't.

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08-10-2008, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaforce View Post
Maybe someone can explain this to me... the Canadiens passed twice on drafting Pierre Larouche in 1974. And yet he had torn up the Quebec Junior League with numbers that had never before been seen and are still only surpassed by Mario Lemieux. Cam Connor couldn't do anything and Doug Risebrough, while an okay player, wasn't exactly top line material.

The others ahead of Larouche were pretty mediocre as well.

Larouche, of course, went on to become a pretty amazing scorer.

We eventually got Larouche and he did well for us, but can anybody explain why the initial snub?


1 Greg Joly (D) Washington Capitals Regina Pats (WCHL)
2 Wilf Paiement (R) Kansas City Scouts St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
3 Rick Hampton (D) California Golden Seals St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
4 Clark Gillies (F) New York Islanders Regina Pats (WCHL)
5 Cam Connor (R) Montreal Canadiens Flin Flon Bombers (WCHL)
6 Doug Hicks (D) Minnesota North Stars Flin Flon Bombers (WCHL)
7 Doug Risebrough (F) Montreal Canadiens Kitchener Rangers (OHA)
One of the great myths out there is Sam Pollock was a great drafter...mark Napier over Mike Bossy would be an example of his non-drafting talents...not really a great drafter but so many top picks. Who could miss on all those top picks?

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08-10-2008, 08:45 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaforce View Post
We assume sports is a meritocracy. In other words, it's pure performance and no favoritism.

However I suspect that in fact the grey hairs in suits frequently favour certain players based on prejudices. They decide they like one kid and they decide they don't like another kid based on sometimes really random stuff. Some kid who has a brush cut and calls people "sir" (hi there Chipchura) becomes favoured whereas some other kid with immense talent that might come from a bit more of a troubled background will be ignored because a scout decides he doesn't like him..who knows why, maybe because he looks like a snotty kid or doesn't hold his knife in the right hand at the team dinner. They can't like 'em all, so the ones they like have a big advantage.

The management is then motivated to justify its decision by seeing the kid they liked succeed while watching the other fail.

So some guy like Daziel or whatever his name was, could thave done well if he had been given the proper steroids...err..I mean encouragement but nobody wanted to go out on a limb for him, so it never happened. Guys like Danny Geoffrion were never top scorers in their leagues but they got their shot at the big leagues, whereas other kids didn't. Doesn't hurt to have friends in high places.

When you look at the cases of Mike Danton or Sheldon Kennedy you can see that even young kids know that getting on the good side of the agents and coaches is the difference between success and failure, even if it drives you crazy or to drugs (hello Theoren Fleury).

So it's probably more random than we think, if Pollock had drafted Larouche and really broken him down, told him if he could learn to backcheck he could become an all time great, the kid would have bought into the program and we'd have seen a much different result.

I'm no insider but I believe that the cream doesn't always rise to the top, it's the kids who are encouraged and cultivated that get there, and why those kids are chosen is not always entirely clear.

Personally I like flashy, offensive hockey, never liked the shutdown players like Carbonneau and Jarvis although Gainey was pretty exciting to watch. So players like Larouche or Grabovski, guys with lightning in their hands and feet, are the players I'm always cheering for. I'd like to see more of them in the league because goals are exciting and blocked shots aren't.
Actually, in this post at least, it's your own prejudices that are showing. You're making far too many assumptions. Pierre Larouche was given his shot, in Montreal and elsewhere, but didn't make the most of it and that, in itself, might tell us that Pollock was justified in passing on him.

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08-10-2008, 09:07 AM
  #22
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One of the great myths out there is Sam Pollock was a great drafter...mark Napier over Mike Bossy would be an example of his non-drafting talents...not really a great drafter but so many top picks. Who could miss on all those top picks?
AFAIK, he wasn't the scout... And scouting in those years wasn't exactly great either. The fact is, they had many high picks while being a freaking dynasty. And that speaks more about his abilities.

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08-10-2008, 09:46 AM
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Melvin Udall
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Just think, in 74 the Habs had 5 first rounders and didn't even give Bryan Trottier a look. Pollock was great, but he wasn't perfect.

You are right, Pollock was not perfect!

Here was the real story on that '74 Draft.
Philly had a team full of bullies.........The Broad Street Bullies Montreal had a lot more talent on their roster and in their system than any othrer team, but management felt that, in order to compete physically with Philly they needed more toughness and character, so....they spent a number of high draft picks in '74 drafting just that......toughness an character. They felt that they had more than enough talent to compete - but lacked the toughness to compete - at least against the Flyers!

As it turned out, they won 4 consecutive Cups by adding that level of character and toughness!

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08-10-2008, 12:30 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaforce View Post
We assume sports is a meritocracy. In other words, it's pure performance and no favoritism.

However I suspect that in fact the grey hairs in suits frequently favour certain players based on prejudices. They decide they like one kid and they decide they don't like another kid based on sometimes really random stuff. Some kid who has a brush cut and calls people "sir" (hi there Chipchura) becomes favoured whereas some other kid with immense talent that might come from a bit more of a troubled background will be ignored because a scout decides he doesn't like him..who knows why, maybe because he looks like a snotty kid or doesn't hold his knife in the right hand at the team dinner. They can't like 'em all, so the ones they like have a big advantage.

The management is then motivated to justify its decision by seeing the kid they liked succeed while watching the other fail.

So some guy like Daziel or whatever his name was, could thave done well if he had been given the proper steroids...err..I mean encouragement but nobody wanted to go out on a limb for him, so it never happened. Guys like Danny Geoffrion were never top scorers in their leagues but they got their shot at the big leagues, whereas other kids didn't. Doesn't hurt to have friends in high places.

When you look at the cases of Mike Danton or Sheldon Kennedy you can see that even young kids know that getting on the good side of the agents and coaches is the difference between success and failure, even if it drives you crazy or to drugs (hello Theoren Fleury).

So it's probably more random than we think, if Pollock had drafted Larouche and really broken him down, told him if he could learn to backcheck he could become an all time great, the kid would have bought into the program and we'd have seen a much different result.

I'm no insider but I believe that the cream doesn't always rise to the top, it's the kids who are encouraged and cultivated that get there, and why those kids are chosen is not always entirely clear.

Personally I like flashy, offensive hockey, never liked the shutdown players like Carbonneau and Jarvis although Gainey was pretty exciting to watch. So players like Larouche or Grabovski, guys with lightning in their hands and feet, are the players I'm always cheering for. I'd like to see more of them in the league because goals are exciting and blocked shots aren't.
I also like to watch pretty goals but I also understand the importance of stopping the other team from scoring on you...

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08-10-2008, 01:00 PM
  #25
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Don't you think the fact that other teams also passed on Larouche should tell you something??

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