Canadiens sign two Swedish draft picks; Emelin has surgery

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced the signings of two Swedish players on Tuesday: defenceman Magnus Nygren and forward Sebastian Collberg (photo above).

The club also announced that defenceman Alexei Emelin underwent successful reconstructive surgery on the ACL and MCL in his left knee and that his recovery is estimated at six months. Emelin suffered the injury when he collided with the Boston Bruins’ Milan Lucic in the first period of a game on April 6 at the Bell Centre. The surgery was delayed to allow the swelling in Emelin’s knee to go away.

Nygren, 22, was signed to a two-year contract after playing 51 games with Karlstad Farjestad in the Swedish elite league. He led all defencemen with 13 goals and had 32 points, to go along with a plus-11 and 49 penalty minutes and won the Salming Trophy as the league’s top defenceman. The 6-foot-1, 191-pounder was selected by the Canadiens in the fourth round (113th overall) at the 2011 NHL entry draft. 

Collberg, 19, signed a three-year contract after playing 35 games with the Frolunda Indians in the Swedish elite league, posting 6-3-9 totals with six penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound right-winger also played in 15 games with Orebro HK in Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan, posting 6-2-8 totals and two penalty minutes. He finished the season in Hamilton, playing two games with the AHL’s Bulldogs.

Collberg was also part of the Swedish team that won a silver medal at this year’s world junior championship, posting 4-2-6 totals in six games. He was selected by the Canadiens in the second round (33rd overall) at the 2012 NHL entry draft.

Financial terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Hockey News names Habs’ Gallagher top rookie, by Stu Cowan


  1. Un Canadien errant says:

    Can anyone explain why Andrei Makarov of the Blades wasn’t drafted last season, and why the Canadiens, with this giant hole in their system at that position, didn’t sign him as a free agent, instead of letting him be scooped up by the Sabres? We didn’t have goalie prospects anyway, and we could have had this decent prospect at no cost, it seems like it would have made sense.

  2. jedimyrmidon says:

    Looking at prospects available in and around the first round, I’ve noticed there are quite a few LWs. How come the Habs have so many RWs and hardly any LWs beyond Max Pac?

  3. Adidess says:

    Most people say 2-0 is the worst lead in hockey as a figure of speech, Pang seems to really believe that is true (hehe).

    I don’t know any cliché that is more stupid. How can a 2-0 lead be worse than a 1-0 lead or 3-2 lead?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Maybe it’s just enough a margin that the team with the lead becomes complacent and then sits back. If they get scored on, they lose all their momentum, and perhaps more often than not results in them losing the game ultimately.

      • Adidess says:

        I’d like to see the stats that show teams with a 2-0 lead lose the game more often than they win. No betting man here, but I’d bet my house that the theory is boloney. It makes no logical sense, when you know that most teams with a lead (any lead) tend to win the game. How can a team with a two-goal lead be more likely to lose?

        We shouldn’t even be debating this. I brought it up because Darren Pang was pretty serious in arguing the game wasn’t over, especially because it is a 2-0 lead. Well, it’s not over because there is one period to be played and a 2-0 lead isn’t insurmontable. But that 2-0 curse is rather laughable.

        To me this is like saying the early Ole Ole chants cause opposing teams to come back and win at the Bell Center. Just because it happened on a couple of occasions doesn’t mean there is a cause-and-effect link. It’s superstition more than anything.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I agree with jedi’s take. It’s a paradox meant to illustrate the pitfalls of being ahead by two goals, in that it’s not in the bag yet, but may cause you to sit back and play defensively instead of attacking.

          Having said that, every single coach would take being up by two goals instead of only one or being tied or behind, 100% of the time.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          I wouldn’t see it as folks saying that being behind is better than having a 2-0 lead. Just that, if your team had a lead, maybe a 1-0 lead is better because then your team is supposedly more on its toes, or a 3-0 lead where the game seems out of reach.

          • Clay says:

            Out of reach…..unless you’re playing the Leafs.

            ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

          • Adidess says:

            I understand what is meant when people say it Jedi, I’m just pointing the fallacy in it.

            I’m pretty sure teams win a 2-0 lead end up winning the game more often than teams with a 1-0 lead. So if there’s such a thing as a dangerous lead, it is a 1 goal lead.

            Players might get comfortable with a 2-0 lead, I agree. But they still win more often with that kind of a lead, so it can’t be the most dangerous. Having said that, it’s fun saying it all the same.

  4. H.Upmann says:

    yeeeaahhh that is premature… brutal

  5. Bill says:

    Ooohhh … that is an awful no-goal call against the Kings … brutal quick whistle.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  6. habstrinifan says:

    Interesting discussion ranking HABS D prospects. I wonder how our forwards prospects would rank. Personally, I would put Bournival top of the list.. ahead of LeBlanc etc.

    • Bill says:

      Forward prospects don’t look as impressive, mainly because two of them – Galchenyuk and Gallagher – graduated so early to become productive NHL players.

      I think Kristo is on top of the list, and the most likely to make the Habs next year. Still think Leblanc will make it ahead of Bournival as well.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Habcouver says:

      I would like to see the Habs add a few 6’5″ – 6’7″ forward prospects like Frederik Gauthier or Anthony Mantha.

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • Mark C says:

      Bournival ahead of Collberg…interesting.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      With the draft haul from last season, a year’s development, and now this year’s class, we can hope that by the 2014-15 season we have reinforcements ready to come to the rescue. And yes, we need some diversity, some guys with size who can play in the corners and in front of the net, we have a lot of smaller dispsy-doodle guys, enough to go around.

  7. habstrinifan says:

    Had to happen. The Garcia-Woods stuff (mostly created by the media) has degenerated to the point where Garcia went with the ‘fried chicken’ stereotype.

    One may not like Woods… he is an SOB after all, but he has maintained the higher ground on this.

    The media however kept pushing Garcia.. and he finally showed himself.

    • Bill says:

      Garcia is a Spaniard … where did he even learn this very American “fried chicken” crack?

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Not too bright…if you’re going to use the “fried chicken” slur, don’t use it on someone who wears polo shirts…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

      • Bill says:

        Is it still racist to say that black people like fried chicken? Or is it just really weird and dumb? I am white and I love fried chicken … who the hell doesn’t? Even Pierre Gauthier likes fried chicken I bet.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Yeah never understood the logic behind that insult…what is so bad about liking a particular food? Maybe if it was disgusting like roadkill…or tofu.

          “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            It’s a stereotype. Like all ethnic stereotypes it dehumanizes the individual.

        • The Jackal says:

          He is a closet fried chicken aficionado

          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I think it’s great that some of us don’t even know why some of these stereotypes exist, it means the racist jokes and the prejudiced views aren’t as prevalent as before.

          I’ve had incidents like these, when I once was actually shushed when I was raving about how much I love watermelon, because a Jamaican teammate was nearby. As a French Canadian kid, I had no idea what they were talking about. I’m still kind of unclear why it was taboo to just say the word, maybe an episode of overdone political correctness, I get the gist of it I guess, but I think it’s progress.

        • HabsTrueBlue says:

          Is it still racist to refer to a Habs fan as a French-speaking frog?

        • HabFanSince72 says:



          It is.

  8. habstrinifan says:

    Dont know bout you guys, but this Bruins-NYR series pales as far as hockey goes when compared to some of the other series. I found this game hard to stay with.

    And the Memorial Cup game wasnt much better. This year draft class is better but I think last year’s Memorial Cup had much more intense hockey.

    • The Jackal says:

      Yeah the East is almost set.
      Don’t think NYR will come back, but you ever know.
      Pittsburgh… they messed up by letting up on the Sens in the last minute and then losing, but I don’t think they lose that series.

      The West is a lot more interesting. I’m hoping to see Detroit vs. SJ in the West final, but Boston vs. Pittsburgh would be an awesome series too.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The Mem Cup had a greater hold on my attention last season, probably because every game featured at least one Canadiens prospect. This year, I’m paying greater attention to the Blades games, and they’ve been intriguing, in that they seem overmatched at first, but come on strong as the game progresses.

  9. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Not sure if this was asked but who do you think Roy tells Sakic to draft? Has to be MacKinnon no?

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Bill says:

      I don’t think Sakic and his scouts will be soliciting draft advice. However, Roy will offer it, and I’m sure Sakic will thank him very much and then draft Jones anyway, ha.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Yeah…I don’t understand hiring a coach who is guaranteed to tell you to go @#@%@^ yourself one day…

        “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

        • Bill says:

          He probably already has, that must be one of the hold-ups in signing the deal.

          Also, how many years did Sakic and Roy play together? Surely Sakic has received several pieces of Roy’s mind in the past.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

            Denver’s new laws will probably “mellow” him out anyways…pass the Doritos…

            “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

          • habstrinifan says:

            One of the rumours is that Roy wants $3million/yr.

        • johnnylarue says:

          Ha! With Roy, I would expect to be told to go !@#% myself on a daily basis. The guy just doesn’t have much of a buffer.

          Keeps things innerestin’, though!

    • Chris says:

      Seth Jones. Jones has the makings of being a perennial Norris Trophy candidate.

      I’m not convinced that MacKinnon will be a dominant centre in the NHL. And with Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly, the Avalanche do not have a desperate need to draft another centre.

      • Bill says:

        The player of the year in the Q has to be Drouin, not MacKinnon, but I have to think that the scouts are right and MacKinnon will be a special NHL player.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Nathan McKinnon is going to make it an even more difficult decision if he keeps playing like he has. Conversely, Seth Jones hasn’t been a difference maker. Of course, during the World Juniors, the roles were reversed.

      As far as Patrick Roy offering draft advice or being listened to, I think he’ll have some say in the matter. Usually head coaches have little to offer, since they don’t know the players involved, being too busy with daily coaching duties to do much scouting. In this case however, we have to remember that as the Remparts de Québec head coach, he faced Nathan McKinnon repeatedly, and he has insights to offer.

      Similarly, new Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly joined the team after four years coaching the Oregon Ducks, and in that capacity was very familiar with the Pac-12 conference teams and their players. It’s interesting that the Eagles ended up choosing four players from that conference, out of eight picks, and signed two more Pac-12 players as free agents. Of note, they took Zach Ertz of Stanford, who had some big games against the Ducks, and USC quarterback Matt Barkley when he fell to the fourth round.

      It only makes sense as an organization to make use of the intel a coach fresh out of junior/college can provide. As such, I would expect that Patrick Roy will be encouraged to weigh in on his feelings regarding Nathan McKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, and probably some other LHJMQ players in the later rounds.

  10. kalevine says:

    geez, I gotta stop watching playoff games. Whever I am pulling for a team they put in a 3rd period performance like the Habs vs the Sens. Is there no limit to the level of punishment I must endure?

  11. JUST ME says:

    I hate the Bruins.I hate the Bruins.I hate the Bruins.I hate the Bruins.I hate the Bruins.I hate the Bruins.I hate the Bruins.

    I was told to express myself and it does feel good no matter how often i say it.

    So, is Lundqvist on the trading block ? No ? I thought so …

    The Rangers are still paying for letting Prust and Dubinsky go and although they did a very good trade getting rid of Gaborik and getting Brassard it is still too little too late.

    Cannot say anything good about the Bruins cause…

    • habsfan0 says:

      As much as I hate the Bruins, I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t a little karma on their side this year because of the events in Boston in mid-April.

      • kalevine says:

        maybe, but there was no justice when they won in 2011

      • ProHabs says:

        Boston will never make it past Pittsburg and then LA. They got lucky to be facing a bad Ranger team in the second round. Nash is a big chicken out there and Richard is Gomez 2.

        • kalevine says:

          I so hope you’re right, but i think you’re wrong. Nothing will stop the bear awakened in game 7 against the Leafs

        • Bill says:

          They got an easy draw in Toronto but almost squandered it. The Rangers are another easy draw. I think Pittsburgh beats Boston, but you never know.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Chris says:

            I don’t think the Rangers are an easy draw at all. They are a tough out.

            The Bruins have a very good playoff team. They are deep, they are balanced and they defend like crazy. Chara was sleepwalking through the regular season, but he’s playing like the Chara that has been one of the league’s top-3 defencemen the past few years.

            The question for them will be whether Rask can keep it together. He is a good young goalie, but he is also a head-case. He’s got Roy’s fiery competitiveness, but sometimes it boils over.

      • habstrinifan says:

        If Bruins winn the cup it wont be Karma… it would be the Bruins getting away with elbows and beatdowns etc.. No way can this Bruin team play hockey with any of the potential Western representatives.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      At least the Bruins have to give up their #1 pick by making it through 2 rounds in the Jagr deal. They will now draft after Montreal (assuming they finish off the Rangers). In fact, Montreal will draft several times before the Bruins do.

  12. habsfan0 says:

    I wonder if our favourite whipping boy,Scott Gomez will have a big game tonight?

  13. Bill says:

    Lundqvist … not clutch?

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • habsfan0 says:

      He reminds me of another goalie in that regard.

      • johnnylarue says:

        To be fair to Hank, he kept his team in it–and it was a largely one-sided game.

        • habsfan0 says:

          True,but check Lundqvist’s record in playoff overtime games.
          Not the mark of a “money” goalie.

          • johnnylarue says:

            Counter-argument: the Rangers’ money forwards have a history of choking in the playoffs, too.

            I hear what you’re saying, though. The Roys, Brodeurs and Quicks of this world are few and far between.

          • habsfan0 says:

            Patrick Roy epitomized what it means to be a money goalie.
            Winning 10 straight playoff OT games during 1993 postseason en route to leading the Habs to the Stanley Cup will do that for your reputation.

          • Chris says:

            Have you seen Brodeur’s career mark in overtime games?

            Not many goalies are more “money” than Brodeur, but he sucked in overtime. 12 wins, 21 losses.

            The best in the NHL right now? Jean-Sebastien Giguere, with a 12-1 mark. Wouldn’t take him for the world.

          • Bill says:

            If Patrick Roy is the benchmark, there haven’t been too many “money goalies”.

            EDIT: Chris’s point above really shows this.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

          • johnnylarue says:

            @Chris: Yikes! I had no idea Brodeur’s playoff OT record was so, uh, “workmanlike”. That said, he won his share of big games just the same. And ultimately, I’m sure he preferred to win in regulation. 😉

          • The Jackal says:

            That’s a bit fallacious, don’t you think?
            Is that record not indicative of the team in front of Lundqvist as much as it is of him?
            So Hank is 3-11 in OT but the Rangers have a winning record?

            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • jols101 says:

          In the first 5 minutes it could have been 3-0. Hank stood on his head.

      • Bill says:

        I was being a little sarcastic, haha, Lundqvist is obviously a great goalie. It’s not his fault.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

  14. johnnylarue says:

    A bit of a contradiction in terms, maybe, but you could arguably use the word “elite” to describe the Bruins’ fourth line.

    Love ’em or hate ’em, THAT’s the kind of fourth line that wins you a Stanley Cup.

    • Chris says:

      There is no question. That is the best fourth line in hockey.

      If you are #1 of 30, that should earn you the elite tag.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      How about we call it a good fourth line, that could play third-line minutes on some other teams, instead of stretching the meaning of the word ‘élite’ beyond usefulness.

      It reminds me of how Jerry White was supposed to be the best ‘fourth outfielder’ in baseball. If he had really been that good, he would have started somewhere. In effect, he was a sub who could fill in at all three outfield positions and not embarrass himself, but there was a steep drop off in our lineup when he spelled Warren Cromartie, Ellis Valentine, André Dawson, or Tim Raines. And the manager knew that, because he got few starts or innings in the outfield.

      Peter Buck of REM once responded to accusations that they had ‘sold out’ because of their commercial success by affirming that they weren’t about to write bad songs in order to remain a fringe group. He continued that he moniker the music press had affixed to them of “the world’s best alternative band” was a contradiction in terms, like “being the world’s tallest midget”.

  15. habsfan0 says:

    Boston Pittsburgh ECF seems all but imminent.

  16. YOWHab says:

    I’m with UCE, Zadrov is a beauty, but totally unavailable unless 24 NHL GM’s decide to smoke crack just before the draft.

    Sam Morin is the next best physical D-man, seems to play with a big-time mean streak from what I have seen, unlike Tinordi. (this is not at all a knock on Tinordi, just an impartial observation).

    The Habs should really go hard after Morin, he is just what we need right now.

    If we can walk away with Morin and one of Rychel/Erne/Zykov, then it will be a Godsend.

    • jols101 says:

      You are under estimating Tinordi’s mean streak. Just wait a year or two, he will be crushing opponents and dropping the gloves when he needs to.

    • Bill says:

      I would rather see a Gauthier, Mantha, or Rychel, but if those guys are off the board Morin is a really interesting project.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  17. frontenac1 says:

    @ddo. Pfft! You want hot? Julie Neumar, the original Batwoman.Skin tight leather amigo.Jariba!

  18. Un Canadien errant says:

    All right Mooseheads, let’s stomp on the gas pedal again.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    I couldn’t imagine the drooling we would be doing on this site if we had the recent draft positions the Oilers had. I realize they sucked all season, year after year, but given how excited we are about Galchenyuk and Tinordi etc… Can only imagine if we had 3 or 4 lottery picks in our lineup.

  20. Un Canadien errant says:

    To satisfy my inner draft-nerd needs, I’ve been Googling and found this handy resource, it’s a ‘dashboard’ of the Top 30 picks according to various drafting services and prognosticators.

    This gives us a sense of where a player might fall, whether it be a Valery Nichushkin or a Frédérik Gauthier. For me, the Nikita Zadorov dream is dead. So might be, to a lesser degree, the Anthony Mantha ‘kind of’ wish.

    There are some significant discrepancies with the NHL’s Central Scouting final rankings, notably how they have Mr. Zadorov ranked as the #22 North American skater. When you fold in the Europeans and maybe a goalie or two, you think he’d be down around #30 when the draft happens, but some services in the dashboard have him as high as #7.

    When Bob McKenzie releases his final rankings, we’ll be able to compare to those and they’re usually reliable, made from the combined rankings of a number of NHL teams.

    We also have to factor in that Jay Feaster, after desperately trying to trade down and feverishly attempting to trade up, will take a Quebec high school player as his first-rounder, so that will bump down all the other prospects after he picks one rung.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Seems that the combine is the key event. That’s where Chucky showed his knee was fine. Not an expert but Mantha sounds like exactly what the Habs need…home grown power forward that can score. Fingers crossed…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        My concern is that he missed the draft by one day last year, his birthdate of September 16 means he missed the cutoff of September 15, so in effect this great year he just had was essentially like the year after the draft for most other players. The fifty goals he had are somewhat less impressive when you consider this.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Don’t expect a sniper but at least speed and physicality with some hands.

          “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I won’t be disappointed if we pick him, let’s say that.

          • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

            Watch them draft a goalie…LOL!

            “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

        • Bill says:

          He did lead the league in goals however, making his 50 goals still impressive even if he’s six months older than most of the other draft eligible players, no?

          Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Habcouver says:

      Thanks for the dashboard Top 30. 🙂
      It’s be interesting to see McKenzie’s final rankings.

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • jols101 says:

      Bobby Mac is the guy I trust the most when it comes to Draft rankings.

      He updated his rankings last month and has Zadorov going 9th overall.

    • H.Upmann says:

      Interesting links!

  21. jols101 says:

    Drouin or Galchenyuk – Who has the better vision and passing skills?

    • scuba says:

      yikes, that’s tough. You pick and I’ll take the other guy and be very happy.

      I can’t tell if the Habs are great or terrible because sometimes they win and sometimes they lose.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      That’s like asking: “Megan Fox or Mila Kunis – Who’s hotter?”

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good question, but Galchenyuk has that size intangible, which I realize isn’t question but why I like him more. Couldn’t imagine having both on team though!

  22. rogus says:

    What an incredible passing play on that 6th goal. Where were the D on that one?

    • scuba says:

      As happy as I am for the Moose, London did not show up tonight at all.

      I can’t tell if the Habs are great or terrible because sometimes they win and sometimes they lose.

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Question to the super scout fans here, how far down can the Russian Nichushkin fall? I realize he has a KHL contract, but something about me is saying this could end up being the Malkin of the draft.

  24. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Asking MB and Timmins about the draft is like asking a senator about his/hers expense report…good luck getting an honest answer.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  25. Lil Snapper says:

    That Nygren kid sounds like we got a good D-men coming to us fairly soon. Not sure how Collberg will do, I was hoping his numbers would have been better but he was injured right?

  26. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Anyone know where we are in the draft? Can we draft a prospect with size like Gauthier in our current position??

    Win is a win, but I hope we win. Next season….

  27. twilighthours says:

    This Rangers game makes me think of Del Zotto. Which makes me think of a time – not too long ago – when everyone and their dog was vilifying Subban and saying that he should take the same contract as Del Zotto, seeing as he wasn’t any better than DZ.

    Oh, how times have changed.

  28. Mattyleg says:

    Holy Crap, Rags – Ruins series is booooooooooooRING.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  29. rogus says:

    What talent on that Halifax team. It must have been a lucky game for my Blades the other night.

  30. Un Canadien errant says:

    Sportsnet is short-changing us. London is getting blown out 5-0 in the first period, and they’re not showing us shots of Dale Hunter as he slowly develops an embolysm.

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    Stralman just got rocked on the end boards for the Rangers, he looked very dazed in front of the net after. I would be surprised if he isnt concussed from that hit.

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    Halifax now laying the boots to London, love it!

  33. twilighthours says:

    Halifax drubbing London, 5-0 in first.

  34. commandant says:

    When Halifax get started, not even the best defensive teams can stop them 5-0 in the first period.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  35. twilighthours says:

    What is going on down below? Datsyuk vs Crosby? Come on, people. Datsyuk is a heck of a player, but with the exception of a commitment to the defensive side of the puck, Crosby is better than Datsyuk at every aspect of the game. And by better I mean “more talented” and “better.”

    • Blade says:

      Agreed…let’s be real folks….love Datsyuk, but come on!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree, I just don’t bother trying to convince them otherwise, people I suppose see what they see.

    • ebk says:

      and it’s not even close at this point.

    • Chris says:

      Datsyuk is probably a better stick-handler, Crosby is faster, stronger and has a better shot. Even on faceoffs.

      It comes down to how much of an edge you give each guy in their respective strength. I think Datsyuk is as superior defensively to Crosby as Crosby is superior offensively to Datsyuk, which for me basically makes it somewhat of a wash.

      Crosby wins for me because he is younger and because I think he is such a competitive person that he becomes dominant in whatever aspect of the game he puts his mind to.

      But Datsyuk has had one heck of a career. He’s won Stanley Cups, Selke Trophies, Lady Byng Trophies…

      And in the last player’s poll (2011-12) by Hockey Night in Canada and the NHLPA, he was voted by 318 NHL players as:

      Smartest Player, Most Difficult to Play Against, Hardest to Take the Puck From, Most Difficult to Stop, Cleanest Player, Toughest Forward to Play Against

      Given that the conversation below was about the relative talent level of Datsyuk and I put him in the company of Crosby and Malkin, I think that the sentiment of his peers is that he is a singularly talented player. Everybody agrees that Crosby is the best player right now, but Datsyuk would be in the conversation if he weren’t on the wrong side of 30 now.

      • ebk says:

        so would Mario, if he wasn’t on the wrong side of 40. 🙂

        Datsyuk has had a great career and is an outstanding hockey player but when it’s all said and done, Crosby will be one of the all time greats. Can’t say the same for Datsyuk.

        • Chris says:

          Oh, I’m pretty sure Mario would still be awesome. 😉

          I still would have loved to see him and Gretzky swap teams in the mid-80’s and see what Lemieux could have done.

          215 points with Messier, Anderson, Kurri and Coffey surrounding you is simply not more impressive to me than 199 points with Rob Brown, Dan Quinn and Coffey surrounding you!

  36. commandant says:

    Sportsnet just interviewed Bergevin and might have asked him the two dumbest questions ever.

    “What number do you draft in the first round?”

    “How do you know who to take if you don’t know who is taken in front of you?”

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I heard that and thought the same thing Ben, the supposed journalist asking the questions used to work for CKND sports when i lived in Wpg, he evidently has gained no sports knowledge since then….. probably why he was just featured singing some stupid song about a breakfast cereal. Sportsnet really is the Dollarama of sports production.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Agreed. They’re awful. They carry the Canucks’ games, and every time they score a goal, John Shorthouse natters on about Kyle Ververgaard of Trail, BC or Marlene Simpson of Prince Rupert, BC just won a blender courtesy of the Piggly-Wiggly. So bush league.

        When they “announced” that they had signed a contract to continue carrying the Canucks’ games for the next few years (surprise surprise, for a team that plays at the Rogers Arena), they had on Mike Gillis as a studio guest, and he looked like he was being strangled when he had to say that he was happy and proud of the relationship, and that Sportsnet did a very “professional” job of covering the team. Which of course is a joke, they’ve got the production values of a student film.

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    Marc Bergevin was just interviewed on Sportsnet during Memorial Cup, he is there with Trevor Timmins.

  38. Un Canadien errant says:

    Dale Hunter’s London Knights down 2-0 to the Mooseheads halfway through the first. Good start.

    EDIT: Marc Bergevin interviewed during the broadcast, they tried to bait him, saying the Canadiens were slated to draft in the 25 spot, and asking “How much higher can you get?”, alluding to whether they’d like to trade up. Mr. Bergevin either didn’t bite, or didn’t understand the question, and said they might move up two spots, depending on which teams that finished higher in the standings get knocked out. The interviewer looked like he’d swallowed a lemon, but he didn’t persist.

    Mr. Bergevin continued that Trevor Timmins is at the tourney as well, that they have a list of players who they think will fall in that range of the first round, but that there are always surprises (meaning, do your homework, scout the guys ranked higher, in case someone falls and you could pick them, except you don’t really know anything about them).

  39. Mavid says:

    Janet Gretzky has the botox clown face thing you do not look younger..just scarier..

  40. frontenac1 says:

    Frikkin ads on jerseys? Why not? We already have shoot outs,instigator rules and ole ole. Hey go all out and have the Lads exchange there sweaty jerseys too.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I hate those jerseys, why when I cheer for a team, do I now have to cheer for some company? I understood why Nascar did it back in the day, as they had no franchise owners or big network deals, but pro franchises shouldn’t have to do this.

      If they did, I would at least hope our Habs would have Molson on the jersey, not Amway or U-Haul or some cable company name like Sportsnet.

      • commandant says:

        You’ve already got ads on Jerseys….. see Reebok on the back collar.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Come on Ben, that little logo is sweet d%ck all compared to European soccer jerseys.

          • commandant says:

            I’m not saying they are the same… just that its started.

            I think advertising on NHL jerseys in inevitable.

            Its a revenue producing area, and NHL owners are always gonna want to make more money. Just a matter of time, whether we like it or don’t like it.

            I’m not saying I’m in favour of this (I’m not) just think its inevitable.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I have no issues with the brand of the jersey manufacturer being on the jersey. Adding a company which has nothing to do with the jersey to me is a complete different conversation. I am not saying they aren’t on the way to doing it, but Koho, CCM or Reebok on a jersey is fine by me.

          • commandant says:

            I agree, I don’t mind the jersey manufacturer either. That said, just think this is something we’ll see more and more of, subtly at first and then more of it.

            AHL teams have had logos on them for several years… RBC, McDonalds and others.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  41. Danno says:

    Ape Man juice oozing out of Chara’s head


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  42. jols101 says:

    Since the Habs have been eliminated is anyone else more interested in Memorial Cup hockey than the NHL Playoffs?

    • gumper says:

      Frankly, I’m more interested in gardening than both.

      The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
      Mark Twain

  43. Chris says:

    I know its wrong, but I’ve always loved the ads on European hockey uniforms. I obviously don’t ever want to see it in Montreal (just like I never want to see anything but UNICEF on Barcelona’s soccer kits), but some of the European uniforms are crazy!

    • Mattyleg says:

      The best was when Liverpool had popular appliance company ‘Candy’ written across their jerseys in the early 90s…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habcouver says:

      I noticed the RONA patch on Canuck jerseys. Don’t like it… in addition to the ‘Nucks.

      Also, I don’t like seeing the ads on the boards. Keep ’em white. :p

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It’s awful. A team in the WHC, I think it was Denmark, had a “DONG” sticker plastered on their forehead.

      • Habcouver says:

        I got a kick out of the “BIMBO” soccer jerseys.

        Waiting patiently for #25

      • Chris says:

        Montreal had a Randy as a head coach. The English must have had a good chuckle out of that. 🙂

        It was Denmark. Dansk Olie og Naturgas A/S (DONG energy) is the national Danish energy company, equivalent to Petro Canada before they were sold off here in Canada.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I had an Aussie girlfriend who got a big kick out of all the Randys, and the Roots stores, and the Mr. Lube locations. Her favourite though was the Urgences Biscuits truck in Montréal. Emergency chocolate chips cookies, that was totally her deal.

  44. Psycho29 says:

    Apologies if this was already posted but:

    Glenn Healy doesn’t think Pavel Datsyuk is super talented

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Just when I thought Healy had gotten it together as an analyst. In my humble opinion, Pavel Datsyuk has all of Bob Gainey’s skills PLUS an offensive upside. In upcoming years, Datsyuk will likely make better trades than Gainey has.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I don’t know about the Bob Gainey comparison, he would hit like a truck, and I don’t think Pavel Datsyuk has that aspect in his game. Great player, some overlaps, but different skillsets.

    • Habcouver says:

      Healy may be using PJ’s chair… or toothbrush too often.

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • Chris says:

      That is knee-slapper and head-scratcher all rolled into one.

      I’d love to know who Healy has ahead of Datsyuk in terms of talent.

      I’ve got zero. Malkin and Crosby are there with him, as was Kovalev before he retired, but nobody is more talented.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      What? Oh forgot…Datsyuk doesn’t play for the Leafs…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • HUDSONHAB says:

      What a f***tard! It is not enough that he won’t give Habs players any credit but now Datsyuk is a no talent guy?

      Get Heals the hell of CBC and all tv.

    • HardHabits says:

      Today at work we were comparing Datsyuk and Crosby and in the final analysis Datsyuk was selected as the better player of the two.

  45. Habcouver says:

    Found it humorous when Knuckles Nilan implied that in the dressing room, Swede Kjell Dahlin was built like a woman.

    Waiting patiently for #25

    • Lafleurguy says:

      In some people’s eyes, that would qualify as “being good in the room.”

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Chris says:

      Think about the astronomical odds here. Mats Naslund and Kjell Dahlin grew up on the same street in Timra, Sweden. Timra is a town of about 10,000 people that is located about 350 km north of Stockholm.

      Both would end up winning a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1986, and the two remain tied for the most points by a rookie in Montreal Canadiens history.

      I’ve always thought that that was one of the cool little behind-the-scenes stories in the history of the Montreal Canadiens.

  46. habsfan0 says:

    Best of luck to Patrick Roy as HC of the Avalanche.
    It would have been nice to see him as Habs goalie coach,however.

  47. Lafleurguy says:

    HabFanSince72, Inge Hammarstrom and Borje Salming were two pioneer Swedish hockey players to cross the Atlantic to play in the NHL. When the Flyers’ Mel Bridgman attacked Salming, with the latter not fighting back even less so than Emelin would have, and with the linesman being laggard in jumping in, Don Cherry in one of his early segments of Coach’s Corner, partnered with Dave Hodge and not Ron McLean called Salming a chicken Swede.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • punkster says:

      And Salming was one awesome player…just over 6 feet tall but it looked like 5 1/2 feet of that was legs…strong and an excellent skater…one of my favorites back then.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Borje Salming, Ian Turnbull, Darryl Sittler, some of those old Leafs were pretty good, I just couldn’t stand Tiger Williams. Useless player that was deified in Toronto.

  48. PrimeTime says:

    Doesn’t MB read HIO

  49. rogus says:

    I know it’s been asked to death here but…how do I get my avatar? I signed up on gravitar, and posted my pic there, but it doesn’t show up here.

  50. durocher says:

    Wishful GM’ing:
    – trade DD, Moen, and Diaz to Colorado for Stastny (1A C with Pleks, played on a line with Gally27 at the WC, has the Quebec connection) and McLeod (can hit and fight, play on the PK and PP)
    – trade our 2013 2nd round pick and Kristo to Pittsburgh for Despres (big, promising, can play on the PP)
    – Sign Colorado UFA Bordeleau (heavyweight)
    – Do not sign/release/buyout: Ryder, Halpern, Kaberle, Weber


    IR: Emelin

    The year afterwards, Gio, Markov, and Cube will leave as UFAs, and can be replaced by Beaulieu (definitely), Leblanc (maybe), Bournival (maybe), or UFAs.

  51. durocher says:

    When/where is the 2013 NHL awards?

  52. ooder says:

    is Nygren’s contract one way?
    I assume Colberg’s is a regular entry level one

  53. HabFanSince72 says:

    Where did the notion that Swedish hockey players are “soft” come from? Guys like Forsberg, Sundin, Zetterberg, Franzen, Holmstrom etc … are tough as nails. They (the named playrs) don’t fight but they’re usually difficult to intimidate.

  54. jols101 says:

    What that compilation video about Magnus Nygren tells me the most is that the Swedish Elite League has some terrible goal tenders.

  55. For the history buffs, today marks the anniversary of the Habs winning the ’79 Stanley Cup. Also the last Original Six meeting in the Finals.


    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

    • HabFab says:

      Kevin, you’re the history buff and I have a question for you. In the 1973 play-offs, Chicago beat Montreal 8-7 in game 5 in Montreal before going back to Chicago to take the Cup. Did that 8-7 game go to over time? Dryden and Esposito were in nets.

      • No it was in regulation, Henri Richard scored the last goal just past the 11 minute mark of the third period. The Hawks and Habs combined eight goals in the second period alone.

        Esposito and Dryden each faced 30 shots, which must have made attending spectator Valeri Kharlamov wonder how his Soviet team could have lost to Canada with those two in net in Sept. ’72.


        Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

        • HabFab says:

          Thanks Kevin. Took my kid brother to the game, his first and we had a discussion yesterday over whither the game went to OT. One of the few losses that didn’t irk me.

      • Peter Young says:

        The way that reads has Chicago, the subject of the sentence, going back to Chicago to take the Cup. Montreal took the Cup. I don’t bother correcting grammatical errors, but it’s going too far when they wrongly have Montreal losing the Cup.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Despite Bob Gainey’s shortcomings as GM of the Habs,I will always remember him as arguably the team’s MVP during the 1970’s.

      • kalevine says:

        no doubt he was a key piece, but right now I can’t get past his record as GM that continues to haunt us, combined with his unjustified arrogance as GM, which he never had as a player

    • Psycho29 says:

      Great memories…….was at that game with my Dad….

  56. HabFab says:

    An interesting article as the author reexamines his post season thoughts;

  57. sailordan1964 says:

    Good to see w’r bulking up !!

  58. frontenac1 says:

    @uce. If Marc can ship the Swiss Lads back to the Alps,dump mini stick and sign 2 Enforcers(in case one gets injured), then sure ,what the hell. Give the Swedes a shot. Might just work amigo.

  59. HabFab says:

    Unsigned Prospects

    Olivier Archambault (Drummondville, QMJHL) – Canadiens lose NHL’s rights on June 1st
    Daniel Pribyl (HC Sparta, Czech Extraliga) – Canadiens lose NHL’s rights on June 1st
    Dustin Walsh (Dartmouth, NCAA) – Canadiens lose NHL’s rights on August 15th

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Olivier Archambault is unfortunately a pouty headcase, a wasted draft pick from the get-go. Great natural talent, but questionable work ethic, on and off the ice. Plus, he’s another small shifty forward, of which we already have quite a few in the system. Let him walk, we don’t waste one of our 50 contract slots on him.

      I don’t know anything about Dustin Walsh except what I’ve read, and he looks like a huge long shot to ever make the NHL. Again, to not clog up a contract slot, we let him walk.

      Daniel Pribyl is a bigger player with talent, we can afford to take our time with him and let him develop. We should sign him and see what happens.


  60. HabFab says:


    Mike Blunden
    Gabriel Dumont
    Blake Geoffrion
    Robert Mayer – Signed a two-year contract with EHC Biel of the Swiss National League A
    Ian Schultz
    Joe Stejskal
    Dustin Tokarski
    Ryan White
    Yannick Weber

    • Chris says:

      My take:

      Dumont and Tokarski are signed for Hamilton. White is kept for Montreal. Weber is either released to sign elsewhere or traded.

      Ben pointed out that Mayer may be staying after all (and we need him to, as the Habs have no goaltending depth), but has no long-term future with the franchise.

      The rest are gone.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Agree with Chris. They’ll try to flip Yannick for a late pick, but if there aren’t any takers they’ll probably outright release him and let him find somewhere he can play.

      Again, Mike Blunden can’t crack the NHL roster, can be a callup, so they may try to flip him, or sign him to a two-way contract, and not be too concerned if he is lost on waivers.

      Ian Schultz had a great chance this year if he’d shown up in good condition to earn a spot on the roster. The team had a crying need for a physical player. Can’t believe he’s too dense to figure this out. Wonder what else is going on there. He’s not coming back.

      Joe Stejskal had a shot, big guy, but didn’t progress, and he needed to make great strides to ever make it. He’s gone as well.

      Blake Geoffrion was on tenuous ground this season I thought, he needed to work on his skating and explosiveness to earn an NHL spot. Now, it’s unfortunate but his injury will have cost him any chance to secure that spot. Wish him the best luck in the future.

    • Steven says:

      I believe Geoffrion retired, so he probably shouldn’t be on the list.

      I like Dumont, Tokarski and Blunden on that list(and obviously White). No one else on that list is particularly worth keeping. Weber has some value but not on this team, I feel.

  61. HabFab says:


    Colby Armstrong (30)
    Jason DeSantis (27)
    Davis Drewiske (28)
    Jeff Halpern (37)
    Kyle Klubertanz (27) – Canadiens lose NHL’s rights on June 30th
    Petteri Nokelainen (27)
    Michael Ryder (33)
    Frédéric St-Denis (27)

    • Chris says:

      Honestly, I don’t see any of those guys remaining with the franchise, with perhaps the exception of Drewiskie as a depth defenceman.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Frédéric St-Denis is a victim of circumstances. Because our other d-men are relatively small, his skillset doesn’t mesh with what we need. I don’t think he has any trade value, he’ll be allowed to find another situation with another organization.

      Colby was a good, cheap risk to take, didn’t quite pan out. He didn’t do badly, but we can do better. I doubt he’ll be back.

      Petteri Nokelainen didn’t get a chance to prove himself due to injury, which hampered his cause. He was a borderline player to begin with, he probably won’t be back.

      I see Davis Drewiske hanging on on a one year, two-way contract, if he’ll accept that. We’ll be without Alexei Emelin for half the season, we need organizational depth. Marc Bergevin and his staff obviously saw something in him, they’ll find a spot for him if they can or don’t have other better options.

      Michael Ryder almost forced the issue with his scoring streak after he was acquired, but he cooled off and now his real value is in his expiring contract. We won’t want to pay him anywhere near what another team desperate for scoring will, so he’s gone. Maybe we can trade his rights for a late-round pick, à la James Wisniewski?

      Jeff Halpern is thanked for his loyal services, and sent oh his way. At 37, there’s not much gas left in that tank. He made sense as an addition for us near the playoffs, but you don’t go into training camp with him in your plans.

  62. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Marc! Talk to Markov about signing a couple of Enforcers from Vityaz Chekov.

  63. Habcouver says:

    Excited with the Habs building its future through the draft and developing talent within.

    I do not believe in teams bringing in rental players at the trade deadline to push for a Cup run. The success doesn’t seem earned.

    Waiting patiently for #25

    • JF says:

      Agreed. The players brought in as rentals are not part of the team that battled all season to make the playoffs and will not stay once the playoffs are over. It’s one of the reasons I can’t cheer for Pittsburgh (the other being the way they were built – by sitting at the bottom for about five years and drafting one top pick after another). There ought to be a limit on how many trades you can make at the deadline.

      • Habcouver says:

        You read my mind about Pittsburgh tanking for years, JF. Now, I’m really hoping they lose on account of how they picked up the Iginlas, Morrows, and Murrays to increase their chance to win the cup.

        Waiting patiently for #25

  64. frontenac1 says:

    All Right! Another 190lb Euro D man! Help for Prust?

    • HabFab says:

      He is definitely one dimensional. MAB all over again.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      C’mon front, he’s not a Gryba-monster, but he can actually play.

      Think of it this way: if our offensive d-men in the near future are P.K., Andrei, Magnus Nygren and Nathan Beaulieu, we’re doing okay size-wise, and it’s a step up from Yannick Weber and Raphaël Diaz, who both can play but are much smaller, and Tomas Kaberle, who’s soft as caramel.

      From there, you add a couple of tough bigger defensive D-men, say Jarred Tinordi and Nikita Zadorov, and you’re in business.

    • habs_54321 says:

      it’s not like he will be playing with the big club anytime soon this is more an ahl depth signing.

  65. billylove says:

    Emelin out for six months, don’t expect him back in the lineup until 2014. Ouch.

  66. Un Canadien errant says:

    Love that we’re stocking up on prospects and assets. Keep up the nice work, Messrs. Bergevin, Timmins, et al.

  67. Psycho29 says:

    Did the earth move for anyone else???

    Edit: Confirmed by CJAD……felt here in St.Lazare Qc

  68. Kooch7800 says:

    I know Dietz is playing well but how about Thrower?

    Dietz was signed I believe but I don’ t think thrower has been. how long do they have to sign him?

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  69. Chuck says:

    Looks like we may have found our trigger guy for the second powerplay unit.

    Anyone but the Sens! And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too.

  70. Ncognito says:

    Below are the 6 winners of the Borje Salming Trophy. Anyone know anything about the other winners?

    2007–08 Mikko Luoma HV71
    2008–09 Marcus Ragnarsson Djurgårdens IF
    2009–10 Magnus Johansson Linköpings HC
    2010–11 David Rundblad Skellefteå AIK
    2011–12 Mattias Ekholm Brynäs IF
    2012–13 Magnus Nygren Färjestad BK

  71. munch17 says:

    I was under the impression that Colberg was destined to play in Sweden next year.
    Will he be coming to North America?

  72. Detritus says:

    I realize that compilation videos are clearly going to be horribly skewed, but wow does he ever display a high level of skill.

    Of course, the shot is magnificent. Wow, an absolute laser clapper, and it looks like he understands the use of an off-pace wrister here and there. That being said, the few hits to start off the clip (on a big ice surface even!) and the adept skating while rushing the puck are perhaps the biggest surprises. I had assumed he would be a one-trick pony, while this video makes him look more like a Mark Streit + a smidgen of physicality.

    A question for the prospect guru’s, where does he (reasonably) slot in our D depth charts? Would something like this be within the realm of possibility:

    Based upon best player, not most needed by the team:

    • commandant says:

      Beaulieu and Tinordi are 1-2 by any measure, and who is #1 and who is #2 is subject to debate.

      After that I’d probably put Nygren 3, Dietz 4, Pateryn 5, Ellis 6, Thrower 7, Bennett 8, at this point.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    • HabsWin-nipeg says:

      One of the things that impressed me was when he beat goalies clean with no traffic in front – picks the corners nicely.

    • SlimDiggity says:

      Nygren can certainly bring it. How physical he will be is relatively unknown, but every scouting report I’ve read says he likes to initiate contact and will stand up for teammates. Basically, he’s not soft and at 6’1″ ~195lbs he’s not small, either.

      It will be very interesting to see how he fits in. He certainly makes a guy like Diaz expendable if Magnus can shore up his defensive game. He may be even better suited to a North American style game.

      I’m not saying he’s the next Lidstrom, but winning the “Norris” of the SEL at ~22 yrs of age is certainly an accomplishment. We’ve seen a lot of players jump right from the SEL and be effective NHLers, so let’s hope Magnus can do the same.

      Oh, AND he has GREAT hair!

  73. bwoar says:

    Chris, thanks for your reply to me re Patrick Roy in the last thread.

    Glad to hear some constructive praise – ever since he’s been talked about as the Habs coach I’ve heard pretty much hype only. Seems like he’s going into a good environment for a rookie coach. I can’t wish him well, since Colorado will be divisional rivals with my Jets, but he will certainly make things interesting.


    • Chris says:

      No problem. You should of course take it with a grain of salt…I have no more idea of whether he will be good or not than anybody else here. We’ll see who looks smart when we all have two or three years of hindsight! 🙂

      Of recently retired players, Roy would be on my short-list if you forced me to pick players that might become good coaches.

      Others on that list: Igor Larionov, Teppo Numminen, Mike Keane, and Hal Gill.

  74. JF says:

    Thanks for removing that depressing score! We need no reminders.

  75. commandant says:

    Since Collberg is underage (under 20), he will be subject to the “Entry Level Slide Rule” where his deal does not begin unless he plays 9 NHL games next season. This is true whether he is in Hamilton or Europe.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

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