Canadiens win one off the ice


After four years of legal wrangling about the evaluation of the Bell Centre, the Canadiens have won their tax fight with the city of Montreal.
La Presse reports the team will get a $5.8 million rebate and see its annual municipal tax bill drop from $10 million to $8.5 million.

The decision slashes the city’s $225 million evaluation of the Bell Centre to $172 million. The arena’s 1996 construction cost was $240 million. The Canadiens had tried to argue that the correct evaluation is $60.5 million.

β€’ Pat Hickey on the White contract

β€’ This is cool: Top 10 Habs Videos


  1. davelecave says:

    Cole to wear #72:

    Wouldn’t have guessed.

    • longbow says:

      Desharnais switching from 58 to 51.He wants 15 but says its taken. By who ? Halpern had it last year and Metropolit before that. Could it be Management told him they were trying to sign Metro and were giving him his old number?

      “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

  2. durocher says:

    What does everyone think about signing Steve Bernier to a two-way deal? If he makes the big club, great; if not, he gets to find his mojo in Hamilton.

  3. BeeGee says:

    How about the next CBA finally takes fraggin’ income tax in consideration… it’s not fair that we need to pay higher salaries AND take the higher cap hit…
    Either the salaries or the total cap are adjusted but the current situation is unacceptable.

  4. JD_ says:

    Big bucks and fat cats and Bixis and taxes
    Pinkos and commies and MaxPac at practice
    HI/O page hits all equal ka-chings
    These are a few of my favourite things!

    All the dog fights
    When JD sings
    When I’m feelin’ sad
    I simply remember that Punkster is wrong
    And then I don’t feel…so bad!

    Julie Andrews wept.

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    Print a real hockey stick that won’t break.! check this out.!

    • HabFab says:

      Ian, on Al’s news and your complaints re head shots last game. Don’t know if you caught it but one of the Roughriders was fined for his head on head hit on the Al’s Green even though he hadn’t been assessed a penality during the game.

  6. Timo says:

    Good, Gomer needs a raise.

  7. adam76 says:

    Raise your hand if you voted Conservative in the last election.

  8. twilighthours says:

    Homophobes and gays unite! vegetarians and veg-o-phones! Pastafarians and Christians, be unified! And we will call our new land “Habs Inside Out”!

  9. HardHabits says:

    HH’s thought for the day:

    It is better that money is spread out through the corruption of public organizations than hoarded in the hands of the few via the corruption of private enterprise.

    • shiram says:

      That’s a lesser of 2 evils proposition…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Rest assured all levels of gov’t in this country will see to it! Burlington has spent approx. 7-8 million on a pier! Then they realized it was falling apart before finished. Now they say it costs as much to destroy as rebuild (keep in mind project has never been finished 5 years in now). So another 6 million plus and we will have a beautiful pier which can tie about 20 boats up! Aahhh the gov’t , just love the sound of that, the government!

    • longbow says:

      There’s a reason the gov’t does nothing about the underground economy.They prefer to have all that cash circulating.

      “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Thanks for the link, great news. I still fear had we beat Boston game 7, MaxPac would have been rushed back into action during round 2, just as I think we did to Markov.

      This guy seems to have great maturity.

  10. twilighthours says:

    Hey smartdog, which scares you more (pick only one): getting felt by a man, or being a vegetarian?

  11. HabinBurlington says:


  12. Rudy says:

    Love this site during slow times (usually), keeps me up to date on what people are complaining about back “home”. I had to look up Bixi bikes. We have the same thing here in DC.

  13. HardHabits says:

    A bike riding tax evading green activist walks into an H&R Block…

  14. twilighthours says:

    The best way to go green is to go vegetarian… Ya feelin me gauthier?

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    We may as well throw religion into day’s banter to go with politics. This will cause great furor, thus leading to the HIO staff to give us rafts and rafts of Habs news. We will soon learn what colour pajamas Scott Gomez wears on those cool Alaskan nights. Diaz and Weber will share with us their favourite schnitzel haus in Austria.

  16. HardHabits says:

    We interrupt today’s regularly scheduled programming to bring you G-Man’s right wing nut bar rant for the day.

    I have read a lot of stupid things on HIO but today G-Man just out did everybody. His comments make nuna look lucid by comparison.

    Bixi is being hailed the world over as a great idea and Mr. I don’t want my taxes to support green initiatives disapproves.

    • shiram says:

      MTL loaned BIXI money because they did not have the cash flow to complete the orders they had coming in.

      • longbow says:

        It isn’t a loan.They guaranteed loans. Different thing.Unfortunately due to the fact that Bixi ‘s structure is improper the Quebec gov’t is forcing Bixi to sell off its Int’l business which is actually the viable part of the business.I heard an American bicycle company will buy it for the 37 million that the company owes the bank meaning Mtl and Bixi will get nothing out of the experience and the American company will walk off with all the future profits. Thanks Quebec Gov’t.
        Reminds me of when the Canadian Gov’t sold Teleglobe Canada for a song when it was actually the only Crown Corporation that made money.

        “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

        • shiram says:

          Bixi is reimbursing MTL’s loan at a rate of 250k a month, the only issue I saw with that is if the company folds before the loan is reimbursed.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          We had this small little car path in Toronto called the 407 (toll highway) that I recall was sold off just a little premature. Thing is a license to print money now, and the gov’t forgot to build in any regulations as it pertained to rate hikes. So now every time we drive on the 407 we get a colonoscopy as well.

          • longbow says:

            I used to drive back and forth to Barrie and discovered taking the 407 sliced exactly 0 minutes off the drive.401 and then 400 works well enough. Can’t imagine why people would use the 407 every day.Price is outrageous.

            “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

    • DearyLeary says:

      Low maintenance, public transport, healthy, environmentally friendly (feels like an understatement). I don’t understand how anyone could be against the idea.

    • nick says:

      BIXI is great for the city, it is.
      The problem with it right now is that the city of Montreal may lose millions right now due to “administrative irregularities, an illegal organizational set-up, incomplete planning and a lack of oversight and accountability” Montreal’s auditor-general Jacques Bergeron has concluded.

      The fact that this company may not be able to pay back a 37 million dollar loan to the city… And has financial garuntees of another 71 million…

      Just out of curiosity, who do you think gets stuck with the bill if this company can’t pay up when the money has run out?

      Bixi is a great green idea. But it needs to stay out of the red.

    • G-Man says:

      Tanks for your support, HH.
      Any program for bicycles that can’t pay for itself is welfare for cyclists. Want to be green? Sell your car, recycle and turn off your a/c.

      • HardHabits says:

        Lame response. Plain and simple. That’s the kind of crap that Rush Limbaugh would say.

        You want to rant about how it was poorly planned with regards to finances, go ahead. Calling it welfare for bike riders is idiotic. People pay to use Bixi. No-one rides for free.

      • bixi is taking off around the world, generating money for a local business that was even profiled in time magazine… i am stunned at your stance on this g-man

        • G-Man says:

          If the business is sooooo good and successful, why is it losing money and asking taxpayers to guarantee that the operators of that business don’t lose money?

          • because its a new business and other cities are buying into it bigtime, let it grow, my god when watching footloose were you rooting for the town elders?

    • Talik Sanis says:

      Please, if he were right wing, he wouldn’t be going on about the rich not paying their fair share and dodging taxes.

      I, on the other hand, know that the rich are better than all of you plebeians, and shouldn’t need to pay taxes. The wealthy already pay their fair share by creating jobs… or something.

      That’s how you can differentiate his political screed from a right wing political screed.

      We are in agreement about those Bixi’s though, even if he’s not a real right winger. I don’t know how any citizen of this city who drives regularly can support the Bixi; bicycles and cyclists are the natural enemies of the Montreal motorist. Further, a real Canadian right winger knows that we need to be more dependent on fossil fuels.

      We’re the sensible ones; Montreal winters are still too cold.

  17. nick says:

    Awesome news.
    When the @#$% can I expect a tax break?

    • longbow says:

      Try to earn less than 11 thou a year and you won’t have to pay any at all. Of course that has its own problems.

      “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

  18. Curtoph says:

    I would like for our Habs to win the cup this year, its not too much to ask, is it?

    Who’s with me!

  19. Newf_Habster says:

    It is good news for the Habs! They can feel bit less burden on taxes.

    Several years ago, IRCC, the owner or team president had the chart that showed the Habs’ annual total amount of taxes were equal to combination of 22 American teams based on taxes that they paid!

    • Clay says:

      Taxes pay for civilization, so bad news for civilization, I guess.

      Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

      Winston Churchill

  20. savethepuck says:

    Now maybe the province can give the Habs a break on the taxes the players have to pay resulting in our team having to pay more to our players so they net the same as elsewhere. This tax break has 0 effect on our team being able to afford to ice a competitive hockey team.
    β€œThat beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting article on Pronger and his rehab. Have to wonder if he has reached an age where bouncing back from these injuries/surgeries is really not going to happen as he expects. His contract is a 35+ as well I believe like Spacek. If this guy is unable to return to even 75% of his old self that Philly backline is in trouble.

    Interesting in his comments he says the team got younger (agreed) and grittier (interesting). I completely understand that Carter did not play a hard 2way game, specifically backchecking and physical. But Richards typically was considered the guy to lead the way for their flyer ferocity. Considering they also got rid of the head case Carcillo, just adds more to what Pronger really thought of Carter/Richards and Carcillo as a group.

    • DearyLeary says:

      I find it ironic that there are Habs fans listening to Pierre McGuire’s reasoning on how Philly got better.

      Frankly, they’re bananas. Holmgren felt Snyder’s breath down his neck and panicked. This was a team that was only a couple of games removed from a Stanley Cup, and he blew up his core and expects the team to be better.

      Pronger needs to be 100% for this team to be effective. Without him logging nearly 30 minutes a game in the playoffs, they’re going to be puppy dogs, just like they were last season.

      • SmartDog says:

        Glad to hear this point made. For sure Phili took a huge gamble. I don’t know the team well enough to predict whether it will work out, but it’s going to be fun to watch. And you could be right. Which would make Pierre McG flat wrong. Which is also always fun.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          We have to remember that Pierre is now pretty much a full time employee of NBC/Comcast whom own the Flyers. This guy is going to be preaching Orange Kool-Aid drink mixes all season!

    • avatar_58 says:

      Has there ever been an example of a player saying “my GM is a tool and I don’t get these trades”?

      No? Then why read into their cliche comments?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Huh? My point was Pronger’s comments support the long held belief he couldn’t stand having Richards and Carter on his team. What was of interest to me was saying they were grittier now, when the common belief was that Richards, Carter, Carcillo were a big part of the Flyer grit.

    • Curtoph says:

      Yeah, depending on Pittsburgh’s situation with Crosby and Malkin, I don’t see Philly taking their division this year. I am not sure how Jagr can fit into that team, and what the removing of Richards and Carter will do to them.

      Hopefully they’ll be a nice and easy opponent for us. I’m pretty sure we were able to beat Bryzgalov in Phoenix the few times we played them these past few years. He’s a good goalie, but he’s not amazingly good!

  22. G-Man says:

    So, a building that cost $240 million to build in 1996 is worth $65 million?
    The rich continually find ways to make me sick to my stomach. Mind you, when the morons at city hall spend my tax money on stupid things like Bixi bikes, it’s no wonder they try to cut their property tax bill as much as possible.
    The Habs do not “rake in” money for the city. They rake in money for themselves and the restaurants, hotels and bars in the vicinity, much like F1. Taxpayers should not be paying for F1 or any sporting event. The people paying for the tickets should.
    U2 cleanup is costing taxpayers $1 million. Adding $8 to each ticket sold would have covered this.

    • Haligonian-Hab says:

      Is there a CCA for arenas? If not there’s some serious crazy depreciation goin down, and/or shotty valuation by the CRA

    • Mattyleg says:

      Hmm, sorry to disagree with you here, G-Man, but you’re off on a lot of things here.
      1) Bixi bikes are not stupid. They could have been better planned, but they are an amazing resource for people living in the city. Perhaps you don’t live in the area where Bixis are found, because if you did, you would realize what a great thing they are in reducing traffic, pollution, and generally improving the quality of life in the area.
      2) By bringing patrons to bars and restaurants, the Habs, along with F1 etc, bring the city money by paying more tax. Plus parking meters, plus, plus, plus.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • G-Man says:

        If you can’t buy a bike, walk.
        The taxpayers pay for F1 to be here- how about the businesses that benefit ante up?

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          I have two bikes, and I still use bixi. It’s a great service, and hopefully it will be profitable if exported to enough cities.

        • Curtoph says:

          lol, you serious right now?

          Those bikes are there for people who don’t want to bring a bike downtown, they have them here in Toronto too, now I don’t live in downtown Toronto, however I take the train down here to work everyday, if I want to have a bike at my disposal those bikes are there and you can drop them off at whichever station you want, how is that a waste?

          Just because things don’t appeal to you, doesn’t make them bad ideas.

          • adam76 says:

            One of the “proud” 4,508,474 I see.

          • G-Man says:

            Why should it cost me tax money for people to ride a bike? The “savings” that cost Montrealers are negligible. How about improving public transit?

          • Curtoph says:

            Lol Adam, I am not proud to be living in Toronto, I just happen to live here, was raised in Kirkland, and visit Montreal frequently, however just saying its a neat idea, and it applies to some people.

            The thing is you can complain about what your tax dollars are spent on, but you’re always going to be paying tax, and they are always going to be spending on it something, whether it applies to you or not. I work for the provincial government here in Toronto, and millions of dollars go into transit here, if you use it, great its money well spent, if you don’t well then you’re gonna end up being sour about it.

          • G-Man says:

            Those bikes will be vandalized. The stands will be, too. Repairing the bikes, especially with Montreal’s salty winter streets, will bring the cost up and over what they charge for the service.
            You want to ride a bike? Buy one.

          • shiram says:

            Bikes are removed before winter, duh really…

            And because of troublesome people we should not have Bixi’s?
            Ok using the same logic we should have not win the Stanley Cup, as there will be rioting.

            You seem to me like someone who read a newspaper clip on bixi and made up his mind without actually looking into it, Montreal did not give the money to Bixi, they loaned it, and it helps the city with tourism, and it helps clear traffic as well.

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            The Bikes and the stands are stored indoors for the winter, so your second point in invalid.

          • Curtoph says:

            Yeah, I think he’s just upset because everyone can just buy a bike instead of using bikes that are already downtown available to people who want to use them, nowhere did anyone say that you have to rent a bike from them G-Man, if you don’t like the service don’t use it.

            Having your own bike, you are liable for it being stolen, and if your own bike is vandalized, what do you do then? Where do you store your own bike downtown? Do you want to have a bike with you everywhere you go?

            I’m pretty sure everyone who uses the service has their own bike, who doesn’t have a bike these days… its not about having your own bike or not, its about actually having it downtown where you may work, or may be a tourist as someone said.

          • issie74 says:

            Adam76 – I am a born and bred Montrealer living in Toronto for the past 26 years,a little respect here.In case you don’t know there are a few of us,we scrounge tickets to Habs/Leafs games,our off-spring walk the City in Habs Jersey’s we are proud of who we are.

            G-Man you can not win this one.

            Death and Taxes.


        • kakey says:

          Anyone can afford a bike nowadays. It’s the convenience of not having to drag one up the stairs of a triplex and storing it for those couple of months’ use.
          As for F1, if it’s a money losing thing, why would the city and province be so eager to pay for and keep it?

    • adam76 says:

      I suggest taking an intro economic class at your local university.

      • G-Man says:

        There is a huge fallacy going around that sports teams improve city’s tax base. The cost outweighs the benefits, every time. Your “intro to economics” course repeats the same lies and tripe.

        • TomNickle says:

          No kidding. The people of Glendale Arizona might not agree that professional sports organizations improve their financial health. Both publicly and privately.

          The number of cities who become healthier due to their sporting franchises and events are outnumbered heavily by the cities who don’t.

          They generate revenue and low paying jobs. But the franchise(s) needs to sustain long term profitability to cover the initial loses that were taken on by implementing the franchise(s) in the first place. And those loses are often covered by the public.

        • adam76 says:

          NO BLOOD FOR OIL!

    • ed lopaz says:

      I can’t figure out which side of the fence you are on GMAN?

      first you say rich people make you sick.

      then you complain about the government being morons.

      if you don’t like rich people, you don’t like corporations like Molson, and you don’t like government,

      who do you like?

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • G-Man says:

        Rich people make me sick by their uninterrupted attempts at not paying their fair share of the tax burden.

        The municipal, provincial and federal governments literally piss away billions of dollars each year on unnecessary programs that require administrators (who make a huge salary with expense accounts so they can buy a fancy lunch on my dime).

        I do like watching the Habs play, not their salaries or their owners.

    • HardHabits says:

      Bixi is a good thing.

    • GenerationYHabs says:


    • shootdapuck says:

      If you paid 100K to build a house that originally was budgeted for 75K does that mean its worth 100K?

      Not in any economy!

      If your project is delayed for whatever reason you still pay every single day the fixed/overhead costs which add zero value to the property!

      Overpaying due to poor project management, bad contractors and raising material costs never bumps up a properties’ value just its cost!

      Are Spacek and Gomez worth 4 and 7.5 mill resepectively just cause that is what they cost? Ask Goatier!

      … the fans of the Boston Bruins now have lost forever any right to complain that “the league” is out to get their team, and that the Montreal Canadiens have some kind of pull inside the NHL home office.

      Charles P. Pierce – Boston Globe

  23. Ian Cobb says:

    Still waiting to hear from the Bell Center!

    I will not hear from them until near the end of the month, if we get the 100 game tickets for Oct. 29th against Boston for our weekend HIO FAN SUMMIT in Mtl. this year.

    I am trying to get seats at 3 different levels for all of us this year. Past Summit goers, will have first choice.

    Stay tuned!

    • geo_habsgo says:

      I think I might be interested in attending the Summit this year, Ian. Is there an email where I should contact you for details when the time arises or is it better to just follow you here on the site? Thanks!

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I am not sure if HIO is giving us a separate Summit page to go to again this year. That worked out for us in the past.

        But the new HIO system here has not got a separate spot for the Summit yet. So I will inform on the main page as we go along.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ian, I respect the past Summit attendee’s getting first dibs. Can you add me to that next list please. 2 tix. Thanks Ian.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      Thanks for your efforts again Ian… looking forward to the day my email box has the summit info in it!

    • Can’t wait Ian. I am planning on seeing the Flyers on Wed, watch the game at Hurleys on Thur, and then the Summit On Sat. Do you think you can get me one seat for the Flyers? If not, no worries, there is always stubhub.

      I tried to get seaosn tickets in Winnipeg this summer. No joy. Montreal comes twice and I can’t even go, lol. Funny. In the 90’s I couldn’t afford to go, yet I went to every game. Now I can afford to go and can’t get seats. Bah, who wants to watch the Jets play 42 games a season anyway?

      Hiya Summit Fans, all I have to say is this. Two Beer, One Big Glass Please!!

      Shane Oliver
      Custom Sports Figures
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      Ph- 204 724 8418

      • HabinBurlington says:

        As a guy from Brandon, you must be especially happy to see Ryan White resign. Does he spend his off-seasons there Shane? I am heading to the Peg next week for a family rebellion, turns out kid I grew up with is quite high up the pecking order in offices of the Jets, will be doing my best to see about accessing some Habs/Jets tix. Good excuse to go home to Winnipeg in the “cooler” months.

        Edit:Just read the article, given the interview was a phone call to his home in Brandon, I suspect I know where he spends his summers lol.

        • secretdragonfly says:

          FYI, the latest edition of the Canadiens magazine has a short feature on Ryan in which he talks about all his favourite spots in Brandon. For anyone local (or planning to visit), there is a restaurant called the Beef & Barrel whose owner is a big Habs fan.

        • Actually I am not a Brandonite by choice.

          I was born and raised in PEI. Left home in 90 to join the Infantry, posted to 2 PPCLI, our base was shut down in 2004, and moved to Shilo. I bought a home in Brandon, and been here ever since.

          Ryan White gets no celebrity status here. You almost never here of him being out. In fact you see his dad more than him lol.

          I got to meet Ryan last winter in St Paul. Sergio Momesso and I were talking at the hotel and he introduced me to him. I should see if I can make a custom for him lol, tell him to come and pick it up, maybe sign my wall. πŸ™‚ (I have a Canadiens man cave)

          Shane Oliver

          Brandon, MB,Canada
          R7B 2R7

          Ph- 204 724 8418

  24. Propwash says:

    Hurray for the little guy!

  25. Chris1138 says:

    Testing new image…


  26. Haligonian-Hab says:


    • HalifaxHabs says:

      too bad the weather doesn’t seem to want to co-operate.

      oh well Metallica fans won’t care.

      • Haligonian-Hab says:

        If this concert doesn’t “work out” for the city, and fickle halifax fans will probably make sure it doesn’t, well, it’s gonna be the last one

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          Yeah I think we’re done seeing them on the Commons for a while. It will be the Garrison grounds from now on.

          They are saying tonights show could outsell Paul McCartney.

          • Haligonian-Hab says:

            Well I doubt it will outsell PM. Garrison Grounds holds 30000, and McCartney had 50,000 on the commons.. I predict ~20,000 tonight and rain

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I wish I could see Metallica in an outdoor venue like that. I saw them at the Skydome (oops sorry Ted, RogersCentre) about 5 years maybe more back. Sound was brutal, but you could feel the Pyro!

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            Accept McCartney didn’t atually get close to 50000 tickets. That was the number people were throwing around at the time. But in reality they only sold around 26 000 tickets, and on the Garrison grounds they can hold 30 000.


            July 11, 2009 – Paul McCartney concert (paid attendance of 26,504)

            surprising eh Halagonian?

            Harold McKay and city hall did their best to fool us.

          • adam76 says:

            Lying about antecedence in Halifax is tradition. Look at the mooseheads.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            Adam – they won’t have to lie about Mooseheads attendance for the next few years πŸ™‚

          • Haligonian-Hab says:

            Touche Halifax, touche. How the eff McCartney only sells 26000 is beyond me. Moncton is, and deserves to be, the Hub of the Maritimes.. at least for events. But hey, we get the Tall Ships!

            And MacKinnon may spike a few ticket sales for the mooseheads. The only time I attend those games is when a future Canadiens prospect is playing, a la louis leblanc

    • J_P says:

      Used to love metallica. Then they made Load. Then Reload. Then they did the album with the orchestra which was awesome. Then the napster thing happened, and then St. Anger. After that, I was done with them.

    • mike3131 says:

      Avenged Sevenfiold!

  27. davecessna says:

    You’d think with the money they rake in for the city, they wouldn’t be taxed up the ying-yang like the rest of us.

    • Clay says:

      They make vast sums of money, generated off of the backs of taxpayers like you and I. They should be paying more in taxes, not less. This is a bad ruling, and unfair to the low-wage taxpayers, who will undoubtedly have to make up the shortfall.

      Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

      Winston Churchill

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        How do you know it’s unfair? There are tax regulations, and presumably this is what the ruling is based on.

        • Clay says:

          How do I know it’s unfair? I live and breathe. Redistribution of wealth to the rich is in it’s very essence unfair. Tax regulations are put in place to favour the rich. Are you seriously suggesting that the rich are paying their fair share?

          Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

          Winston Churchill

  28. Chuck Chuck Goose says:

    So THAT’S the decision Molson was waiting for before he gives the go-ahead to sign Gorges…….right?

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