Linus Omark signs

Jonathan Willis
August 27 2013 10:00AM

 

The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that they had signed Linus Omark to a one-year contract.

Two-Way Contract

Bob Stauffer offers the explanation for what changed:

The Oilers likely would always have taken Omark back on a two-way deal, but the player clearly felt he'd proven he was better than the AHL. My guess is that after looking around for a new home this summer, Omark got a better idea of what his NHL stock was, and decided that a two-way contract made sense.

As for Edmonton, with the departure of Toni Rajala the Oklahoma City Barons were looking awfully light on firepower; Omark is an exceptional scorer at that level and offers the Oilers another recall option.

What I Expect

It would be something of a surprise if Omark cracked the Oilers' roster out of training camp. While he is a good player there simply isn't room in the top-six and he's a bad fit for a Boyd Gordon line oriented toward defence. With the number of one-way conmtracts the Oilers are carrying, it would take something exceptional for Omark to force his way on to the roster.

But that isn't what this is about for Omark; this is a move designed to get him into the NHL. He already saw that a fantastic year in Switzerland wasn't enough to get the interest of NHL teams - the question isn't his scoring ability, it's the rest of his game. If he shows well in training camp, he might get a team interested when he's sent down to the minors (as he needs to clear waivers). If he clears waivers but shows well in the AHL, he's more likely to land an NHL contract next season.

The Oilers are bringing in a guy who has decided that he wants to play in the NHL more than he wants to make the easy money in Europe. This season is about Omark proving what he can bring; he's going to be highly motivated and it's never a bad thing to have a driven guy with real ability in the system, even if he has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past.

Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, Justin Azevedo digs a little deeper into Matt Stajan - who breathed some life into his career with a strong performance last season - and aks if we've been underrating him all along:

Stajan has had three seasons where he's been a top-6 forward by any measure and another outlying season where he was unfairly lambasted by both fans and coach alike - which is odd considering the coach is the one that positioned Stajan to fail. He might not be able to make his teammates in the top-6 better, but he can play with them to the degree necessary. He pushes play forward and scores at a good rate while costing about the average amount for his position.

Click the link above to read more, or check out some of my recent stuff:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 shanetrain
August 27 2013, 11:26AM
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@DSF

Gillis could find himself all alone in first place if he found another home for those two regular season wonders.

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#52 LinkfromHyrule
August 27 2013, 11:39AM
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Mojo wrote:

5 goals + shootout winner. All against some goalie named James Reimer.

Sounds like Omark is a definite call-up vs Toronto!

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#53 NJ
August 27 2013, 11:41AM
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BOLD. /thread

On a non-GM-insulting note, I've always liked Omark. Don't get me wrong, he's not really an Oilers fit, he doesn't "really" fit on the 3rd line, he's not defensively sound and he's not a big centre (because those are everywhere amirite?). But, IMO, he plays hard, he can make a pass and he has a scoring touch. Maybe he does find renewed zeal, energy and motivation here this season, OKC or Edmonton. If he does, he gets moved, maybe at the deadline, maybe with Hemsky. I'm just speculating but if we get a pick for Omark that makes this a good signing. Not bold, but good.

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#54 Tikkanese
August 27 2013, 01:39PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

He shouldn't give a rats ass. He hasn't done enough to receive the attention he has been given.

To the critics, show me another player who may score 35 pts this year making 600k, that electrifys a fan base like lee-nuss Omark. He wants in the NHL. He is too good for the AHL. Its time for you too "put up or shut" up leenus.

They should give a rat's ass. It is their job.

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#55 Batfink
August 27 2013, 02:48PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Omark - Gordon - Hemsky sounds interesting but I don't know if the chemistry will work. Omark and Hemsky are both "puck hogs" and are both of the "pass first" mentality. They would be constantly cycling and almost never shooting. Driving the opposition, teammates, coaches and the fans crazy.

A puck hog that has a pass first mentality? I'm not a 'linguistics major' but I know what an oxymoron is. And what a moron is.

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#56 HardBoiledOil
August 27 2013, 10:59AM
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wheeler wrote:

Well JW, it appears you and Staples disagree on something, as he likes the Omark-Gordon-Hemsky idea.

"It’s no secret that Ales Hemsky is a soloist who does his best work when surrounded by support players. Newly acquired centre Boyd Gordon and Omark can be those support players, with Gordon doing the heavy lifting down low in the Oilers zone, like Shawn Horcoff used to do with and for Hemsky. Gordon will also be the guy coming back hard on the backcheck. Omark can win pucks on the boards all over the ice, while Hemsky is on the puck, advancing it up the ice, his great strength as a player." "this line would have a chance to get the job done by cycling the puck in the offensive end, and surviving in the Oilers end due to the efforts of Gordon."

I think you're wrong on this one.

i like the idea of an Omark/Gordon/Hemsky 3rd line. it might be the best we can do at the moment, especially if MacT can't dump Hemsky this year.

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#57 Oil Fan in Ottawa
August 27 2013, 11:00AM
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Why not have the bottom two lines be:

Omark-Arcobello-Hemsky (play soft competition)

Smyth/Joensuu-Gordon-Jones (take the d-zone starts)

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#58 justDOit
August 27 2013, 11:10AM
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Anyone know what his AHL salary is on this deal? I'm betting it's a higher number, to dissuade waiver attempts if O! gets sent down.

Edit: CoH says $100k AHL salary.

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#59 Hayek
August 27 2013, 11:23AM
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Great signing, point a game player in AHL, lead Swiss League in scoring last year. Welcome back Omark, hopefully you make this roster and give us a 3rd line with scoring threat.

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#60 Marshall Law
August 27 2013, 12:22PM
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The most exciting part of this transaction is that it now allows us to observe as the local media tries to explain how they never meant to say that Omark was a joke with no value.

Clearly there remains some interest in him. Otherwise, the Oilers would have Toni Rajala-ed him a long time ago. One can only hope he gets a decent opportunity to prove himself this time around.

Shove it up the backsides of your critics, Linus!

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#61 mooler
August 27 2013, 01:06PM
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916oiler wrote:

This is good. The Oilers will get SOMETHING, one way or another, out of Omark instead of him dancing around in Switzlandialand with the polar bears and unicorns.

Jeeze, switzerland's closer to the equator than the polarbears...

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#62 tileguy
August 27 2013, 01:08PM
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from NBC sports june 28th.

On Thursday, we moved one step closer to the NHL ditching the spin-o-rama in shootouts. The league’s Board of Governors gave their approval of the change, which now just needs to go through the NHLPA for one final okay. Spin-o-ramas can be fun to watch, but NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan argues that this is a matter of “integrity.” “I think that there’s some very entertaining moves that you can still do in a shootout,” Shanahan told the Sporting News. “I think when we looked at some of the spin-o-ramas, there was a lot of interference with goaltenders, there was a lot of questions as to whether the puck was still moving forward or the player was still moving forward.

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#63 justDOit
August 27 2013, 01:47PM
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@Tikkanese

Tikkanese is not a dialect know for correct pronunciations - your position on this seems at odds with your screen name.

Given that Linus is also a name in North America, I don't see why it's so strange for broadcasters to pronounce it incorrectly. Most of them are not linguistics majors!

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#64 Tikkanese
August 27 2013, 02:25PM
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justDOit wrote:

Tikkanese is not a dialect know for correct pronunciations - your position on this seems at odds with your screen name.

Given that Linus is also a name in North America, I don't see why it's so strange for broadcasters to pronounce it incorrectly. Most of them are not linguistics majors!

The Tikkanese dialect is never wrong, just ask Esa!

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#65 Woogie63
August 27 2013, 03:47PM
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If Omark is sent down to the minors does he have to go on the waiver wires first???

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#66 yawto
August 27 2013, 11:05AM
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@shanetrain

Steve Tambellini got more for Dustin Penner a couple years back than feaster got for Iginla last year and feaster isn't listed as the worst. ( and who is the high school kid they took saying they felt they got the best player I the draft a year ago ). #zerocredibility

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#67 yawto
August 27 2013, 11:05AM
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@shanetrain

Steve Tambellini got more for Dustin Penner a couple years back than feaster got for Iginla last year and feaster isn't listed as the worst. ( and who is the high school kid they took saying they felt they got the best player I the draft a year ago ). #zerocredibility

. Edit. Why is my phone double posting?

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#68 Peachy
August 27 2013, 11:09AM
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@shanetrain

Given that Toronto is ranked #12, the article has zero credibility.

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#69 Tikkanese
August 27 2013, 11:12AM
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Nothing wrong with this move at all. 30P in 65GP, while getting mostly 3rd-4th line minutes and 15-20(?) of those GP with Belanger is not bad numbers at all.

At best he helps the PP/shootout & depth or gets us something in return in a trade. At worst he gets claimed on waivers, or if he clears waivers, he "replaces" Rajala and OKC is much stronger. I fail to see any negatives. It's simply more depth and with the Oilers injury problems the last few years, that is a good thing to have.

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#70 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 27 2013, 11:15AM
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Didn't Omark have a 5 goal game in the AHL a couple years ago?

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#71 Fresh Mess
August 27 2013, 11:19AM
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justDOit wrote:

Anyone know what his AHL salary is on this deal? I'm betting it's a higher number, to dissuade waiver attempts if O! gets sent down.

Edit: CoH says $100k AHL salary.

100 grand

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#72 Mojo
August 27 2013, 11:31AM
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@justDOit

5 goals + shootout winner. All against some goalie named James Reimer.

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#73 GrillBoss
August 27 2013, 11:32AM
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@Jordan Nugent-Hallkins

Yes he did. His post-game interview was a classic. He said he was disappointed because he should have had 7 or 8 that night.

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#74 rubbertrout
August 27 2013, 11:33AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

*Shakes head disapprovingly*

Looks like someone is going to have a repeat goat this year.

Robbie Schremp never got another look Arch.

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#75 LinkfromHyrule
August 27 2013, 11:37AM
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lol that article about Gm coach combinations didn't make much sense. Feaster, Nonis and Holmgren were all wayyy too high. It still amazes me that those guys have their job

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#76 John Chambers
August 27 2013, 12:33PM
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@Walter Sobchak

I'm not sure you get how this works. It's about having options and minimizing risk.

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#77 Marshall Law
August 27 2013, 01:05PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

This is the most exciting part of the transaction for you? Puzzling perspective, that.

Omark, as he and his agent clearly found out, doesn't hold the cachet with NHL GMs he thought he did. Tearing it up in Europe didn't get the phone ringing the way he hoped.

Now, he's back and saying the right things about doing what it takes to make it to the NHL. There is no downside to Omark coming back motivated to show he belongs at the NHL level. We'll see if he does.

Truthfully, seeing Omark get another opportunity is what excites me the most.

I merely find it interesting that, over the past 2 years, many members of the local media have spared no effort in ridiculing fans for believing that he deserved another shot. These same individuals now must acknowledge that Omark may hold some worth.

I can appreciate that you, like other members of the media, have had to tolerate many unrealistic trade proposals involving Omark's name. That would undoubtedly get irritating. However, it seems as though this has spurred many of you to respond by suggesting that Omark has no value whatsoever.

My argument is simply that, if this were the case, they wouldn't have bothered holding onto his rights.

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#78 Grizztopia
August 27 2013, 01:20PM
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mooler wrote:

Jeeze, switzerland's closer to the equator than the polarbears...

I'm a fan of how you're willing to let the part about the unicorns slide.

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#79 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 27 2013, 01:39PM
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@tileguy

I would argue that Omark's spin was much more classy as he 360'd at the blue/high slot then faked the slapper and went 5 hole. Bit of a showboat? Sure, but if he missed the goal, he would never have heard the end of it from fans, coaches and the media.

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#80 916oiler
August 27 2013, 02:45PM
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@mooler

...and where exactly do unicorns properly reside in relation to the equator? Did I spell Switzlandialand correct? Is Miley Cirus behind all of this tomfoolery and shenaniganism?

;)

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#81 Rob...
August 27 2013, 03:22PM
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Omark inspired image contest please!

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#82 Oilerz4life
August 27 2013, 03:22PM
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Omark is an exceptional hockey player (in the minors), and will add much needed depth (to the Baron's lineup).

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#83 Rama Lama
August 27 2013, 03:40PM
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@Tikkanese

I agree with your assessment of Hemsky.........but Omark has not been given sufficient opportunity to be called a puck hog yet.

Hemsky does pass the puck but only after he has run out of options to keep dangling.......he is the classic definition of a soloist.

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#84 Wax Man Riley
August 27 2013, 03:50PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Why do most of the media, especially the Edmonton media keep pronouncing his name wrong? You'd think they'd catch on when his teammates pronounce it correctly in their interviews. It is pronounced "Lee-Nuss", not "Ly-Nuss" like the Charlie Brown character.

It makes them sound like lazy morons.

I can't fins the link, but you are half right... it is pronounced "Lee-nus", but I seem to remember Omark came out a couple years ago and wanted it pronounced "Lye-nus".

I thought it had something to do with a Lee-nus/pee-nus association.

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#85 Oilcruzer
August 27 2013, 07:40PM
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DSF wrote:

How Gillis handles this will be a defining moment of his career.

In other news, CSN Philly ranks the GM/Coach combinations in the NHL.

http://www.csnphilly.com/hockey-philadelphia-flyers/ranking-all-30-gmcoach-combos-nhl?

Yes, because a reporter in Philly is the Kreskin of all things hockey.

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#86 jake
August 27 2013, 01:00PM
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They have his rights, he wants to come back, does so on Oilers terms, 2-way contract.....no risk, all potential gain. If his AHL salary is 100,000.00, not outrageous either. Win-win.

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#87 Spydyr
August 27 2013, 01:38PM
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Smart move by Linus.He was looking to get back in the NHL now he will have to clear waivers before going down.Looks like he could of been earning more in Europe so the desire to play in the NHL is there.Hope he gets a fair shake.

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#88 DieHard
August 27 2013, 01:53PM
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MacT wants internal competition, he wants skill verses non-skill, he wants to weed out the whiners, he wants players to want to be here. Omark wants an honest chance to play in the NHL. I don't believe he's ever gotten one. This is do or die for Omark. This is an excellent move by MacT.

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#89 Rocket
August 27 2013, 02:12PM
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Wow the advanced stats guys are going nuts on the interweb. Over at thecopperandblue they're practically popping champagne.

I think it's an interesting signing. Good for Omark and The Oilers. I wonder if he pushes Jones down to the fourth line?

I think a third line with Gordon, Hemsky, & Omark looks tempting.

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#90 tileguy
August 27 2013, 03:42PM
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I would call Omark a puck hound as he will relentlessly keep going for it.

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#91 Pouzar99
August 27 2013, 04:28PM
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This is a good signing. A very cheap two-way deal that will give Omark a chance in exhibtion games to showcase his skills against NHL Players. If he is a better and more disciplined player without the puck than in his earlier stint here, than he belongs in the NHL, although the Oilers are a poor fit.

He could possibly start the season with the big club, especially if Nuge is not ready to go immediately, which would showcase him eve more for a possible trade. If there is no deal made he will likely be sent to OKC. If he is picked up on waivers, so be it. End of story. No harm, no foul. If not, he will be excellent value in OKC and damned entertaining. In addition, if he is playing well down there he is a legitimate call up if a couple of skill forwards are out.

I do not understand the animosity some harbor towards Omark, apart from legitimate concerns about his defensive commitment. It appears some people are offended by his independent, swashbuckling style, which I loved, while criticizing the genuine flaws in his game.

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#92 MessyEH!
August 27 2013, 06:20PM
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Woogie63 wrote:

If Omark is sent down to the minors does he have to go on the waiver wires first???

Yes. He has to clear waivers.

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#93 Pouzar99
August 27 2013, 10:54PM
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If this was a university course the only grade you could give the Oiler GM-HC duo is an 'incomplete.' They are both doing their particular jobs in the NHL for the first time. Unfortunately, when you are listing all 30 teams you can't pull one out and say there is no evidence on how to grade it. I like what I have seen and heard from MacT so far and what Eakins has accomplished in the AHL, but it is the results that will tell the tale and that will take a season or two. DFS only brought this up to get people riled up. As always. It tells us nothing we don't know already.

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