Moneypuck: RFA's

Justin Azevedo
June 26 2013 05:59PM

 

 

While some of the criteria of Moneypuck applied to UFA's carries on to Moneypuck applied to RFAs, there are a few key differences.

I did not include RFAs who I believe would have a potential Flames offer matched by their team. I also tried not to include unrealistic targets. I also left out goalies, because the market for RFA goalies that are worth a damn is always sky high.

More of the focus here is looking for teams that might be in cap trouble and thus the Flames would be trying to poach the rights of the RFA before moving on to the possibility of an offer sheet.

There's also RFAs who have, for one reason or another, have become less valuable to the organization than the organization is willing to pay for them. In some cases, this presents an opportunity to find talent without giving up a large amount of assets.

The Methodology

  • Ideally, requiring a contract that is not an extreme overpay.
  • Has shown the ability to play at the NHL level.
  • Has a high likelihood of either being a top-9 forward or top-4 defenseman.
  • Where applicable, not a possession sinkhole.

Obviously it's a little harder to make determinations about how good a guy's tough-minutes abilities are with a smaller sample than usual, but we'll do our best. Surprisingly, these criteria (and the one that states "thou shalt not sign players that suck at hockey") left us with a small amount of candidates. Keep in mind, because of the nature of offer sheets, it's highly unlikely that more than two offer sheets per season will be extended.

The Targets

Jared Spurgeon

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The Wild are in trouble when it comes to this year’s salary cap: with only 3.5 million in cap space, the Wild need to find Justin Falk, Cal Clutterbuck and Jared Spurgeon new contracts. Erik Haula, Zack Phillips and Matt Dumba will all be pushing for roster spots as well, furthering their cap crunch. Basically, any RFA will be ripe for the taking.

Spurgeon is a top-4 defenseman right now. The Flames need a top-4 defenseman. He’s only 23 and has displayed some offensive upside at every level, most notably this past year where he gathered 15 points in 39 games (~.4PPG). His entire career he’s had a positive Relative Corsi and he plays against 2nd and 3rd lines.

Age: 23 (on 05/10/13)

Expected Compensation: 2nd Round Pick

David Rundblad

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The Coyotes have a well-documented recent history of penny-pinching, but even so the name of one of their top prospects appearing here might confuse some people. The reason, though, is simple: Phoenix is chin-deep in high quality young defensemen. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Keith Yandle, Zbynek Michalek, Michael Stone, Brandon Gormley and Connor Murphy are all ahead or equal on the depth chart to Rundblad. This leads me to believe they might be a little more willing than usual to part with Rundblad.

Rundblad is going to be a top-4 defenseman in the league and has scored at a high rate in both the SEL and AHL the past two years: last year in the AHL, his NHLE was 35 and his last year in the SEL his NHLE was 58 (as a 20 year old). It’s worth “overpaying” to get Rundblad as well - a contract with an AAV of $2.5 million would only require a 2nd round pick as compensation.

Age: 22 (on 05/10/13)

Expected Compensation: 2nd Round Pick

Jordan Schroeder

Vancouver Canucks Jordan Schroeder

Vancouver is probably in the worst shape cap-wise in the Western Conference. They only have about 7k per roster opening to spend this summer. Keith Ballard will be bought out, but the Canucks need a 3c and a 4c, as well as a new contract for Chris Tanev. Things are gonna be tight.

Schroeder is likely an NHLer next year, and looks to have top-6 potential. He’s also a centre, which could result in a very good 1-2-3-4 centreman lineup in a couple of years. His point totals might not be where they’re expected to be, but Thomas Drance is still very bullish on him as a player.

Age: 23 (on 05/10/13)

Expected Compensation: 3rd Round Pick

Benoit Pouliot

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The Lightning may not be in cap trouble at the end of the day due to LTIR exceptions, but right now they have about 500k per player available to spend in free agency. However, that's without Vladislav Namestnikov, Andrej Sustr, Slater Koekkoek and Brett Connolly on the cap, so things will likely be a little tighter than that.

Pouliot has shown he can outshoot players the past three years by a heavy margin. In those seasons, he's played 2nd and 3rd liners with one high ZS% season, one mid ZS% season and one low high ZS% season (relative Corsis of 3.9, 10.5 and 8.6 respectively). He's also scored at a high rate the past three seasons, with a PPG of .45.

Age: 27 (on 05/10/13)

Expected Compensation: 2nd Round Pick

Marcus Johansson

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The Capitals aren't in an awful amount of cap trouble, but with only 5 million in cap space and Karl Alzner in need of a new contract, things could get tighter than is comfortable for George McPhee.

Johansson hasn't had the most stellar numbers underlying-wise, but most 22-year-olds that play 1st and 2nd line comp don't have stellar numbers. However, Johansson has scored pretty close to a first-line rate in his NHL career, totaling 95 points in 183 games - that may be due to his playing with Alex Ovechkin, but Ovi has been a sinkhole for the past couple of seasons.

Age: 22 (on 05/10/13)

Expected Compensation: 1st and 3rd Round Picks

Alexander Burmistrov

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This is less Winnipeg having cap troubles and more Burmistrov appearing to be done with the Jets. He hasn’t done much in the way of scoring, but Burmistrov is the Jets' best underlying player at this point and that is never a bad thing. As well, he's still insanely young.

Age: 21 (on 05/10/13)

Expected Compensation: 3rd Round Pick

Conclusion

There's much to be had in the RFA market this year and there's potential difference makers at every position. The Flames, if they so chose, could likely get at least three of these guys: for me, I think Spurgeon, Schroeder and Burmistrov would all be excellent additions. It's a little harder to find true Moneypuckers in the RFA market, but these six would be an excellent starting point for Jay Feaster and Co.

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Justin is a 22-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#1 Ed Ward
June 26 2013, 06:29PM
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I'd be thrilled with most of these guys, but Burmistrov, Schroeder and Rundblad would be my preferences.

Feaster's willingness to be creative makes me hopefull we could see a move for any of these guys.

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#2 Baalzamon
June 26 2013, 06:47PM
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"Rundblad is going to be a top-4 defenseman in the league"

How can you be so certain of that? He's kind of terrible defensively, and given that he's a DEFENSEman...

His zone start ratio has also never dipped below 61%. I'm not saying you're wrong (and it's hard to say no to getting a player of his talent level with a 2nd rounder), but I sincerely doubt he can be considered a sure bet to be a top 4.

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#3 joe
June 26 2013, 07:13PM
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I can see the Flames making a push for Burmistrov, especially since he has requested a trade outta WPG. Still, there would be alot of teams bidding for his services

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#4 Vowswithin
June 26 2013, 07:17PM
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joe wrote:

I can see the Flames making a push for Burmistrov, especially since he has requested a trade outta WPG. Still, there would be alot of teams bidding for his services

Maybe feaster can pull a Corbin on him ;)

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#5 Clyde
June 26 2013, 07:40PM
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@Vowswithin

Would like johannson but not at that price

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#6 Clyde
June 26 2013, 07:41PM
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Not for our 1st I mean

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#7 danglesnipecelly
June 26 2013, 07:45PM
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Vowswithin wrote:

Maybe feaster can pull a Corbin on him ;)

Maybe Corban can pull a Corban on him...

Think about THAT.

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#8 danglesnipecelly
June 26 2013, 07:45PM
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Vowswithin wrote:

Maybe feaster can pull a Corbin on him ;)

Maybe Corban can pull a Corban on him...

Think about THAT.

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#9 Parallex
June 26 2013, 08:14PM
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Yes to Rundblad and Burmistrov... pass on the rest.

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#10 Michael
June 26 2013, 08:31PM
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Convert one of our late first round picks into a couple of seconds, and use those to acquire a couple of these kids. They are in the right age group, they have more upside than any of the prospects returned in the Iggy / JBo trades, and they can play next year.

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#11 MC Hockey
June 26 2013, 08:49PM
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Burmistrov via trade, Spugeon, Schroeder are about to come into their good years so let's try for those please!

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#12 vowswithin
June 26 2013, 08:49PM
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danglesnipecelly wrote:

Maybe Corban can pull a Corban on him...

Think about THAT.

He could, but im giving that a 1/500 chance... I saw the post videos of when he got traded to Calgary. His face was all smiles and you could tell it was what he wanted. He mentioned it, and the two teams in on it were Edmonton and CGY apparently.

But that being said, imagine he said screw you guys and bolted to Edmonton? Man I would be so pissed .........

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#13 vowswithin
June 26 2013, 08:53PM
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Clyde wrote:

Would like johannson but not at that price

I was thinking more Burmistrov and get it done the same with we did with Corbin since Burmi wants to be traded. There are other Russians here for him to be pals with and what not, might be a good fit.

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#14 Burnward
June 26 2013, 09:23PM
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I'm up for anything that gets us better and doesn't cost us a first round pick.

Maybe we could move Tanguay for Rundblad and Cammi for Burmistrov?

Pretty please?

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#15 Kmp
June 26 2013, 09:26PM
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@vowswithin

What Russians?

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#16 Burnward
June 26 2013, 09:27PM
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@Kmp

Nichushkin...obviously!

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#17 Kmp
June 26 2013, 09:27PM
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@Burnward

Was thinking the same thing Tanguay for Rundblad.

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#18 Burnward
June 26 2013, 09:29PM
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@Kmp

And a fourth/D'Agostino or something.

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#19 Kmp
June 26 2013, 09:30PM
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@Burnward

Maybe Zykov.

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#20 Burnward
June 26 2013, 09:31PM
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Man, I am so stoked for this week! Holy hell, I haven't been this excited for something involving this hockey team in a decade. How sad is that?

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#21 Kmp
June 26 2013, 09:35PM
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@Burnward

3 firsts will do that, unless they go goalie and 2 Hs kids.

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#22 Burnward
June 26 2013, 09:41PM
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@Kmp

Also Free Agency is something I am looking forward to...with 23 million +/- to spend, could be verrry interesting.

As far as the HS kid...I still think Jankowski will be good. I'm probably in the minority here, but I've never seen the kid play so it's hard to judge. I do however, really like how they drafted the rest of the way...so for them to reach on him, he has to have something special in his game.

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#23 vowswithin
June 26 2013, 09:43PM
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@Kmp

Sorry I mean czech's, I guess that is not the same. But there a big similarities in the languages I hear.

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#24 T&A4Flames
June 26 2013, 09:49PM
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Rundblad, and Burmistrov may be the best options. That said, any asset that can be bought low and perhaps sold high later on, I'm in.

I'm very interested to see what teams take advantage of the buy out period and what teams may prefer trading a problem away with a decent asset.

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#25 Kmp
June 26 2013, 09:50PM
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@Burnward

Never seen him play either the one game I watched he was hurt. I think he will be good. He was 3 days from being in this years draft.

I would rather see them play kids and stay way from free agency. Maybe pick up a vet damn to play right side on 2nd pairing and maybe a RW. Though if they could trade for a Rundblad, Stone or Spurgeon that would work.

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#26 MC Hockey
June 26 2013, 09:54PM
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Burnward wrote:

Man, I am so stoked for this week! Holy hell, I haven't been this excited for something involving this hockey team in a decade. How sad is that?

So are ALL Flames fans...you are certainly not alone! Trades of picks, making picks, signing UFAs, even offer-sheeting RFAs are all possible. And hey Calgary is a nice place to play in a real hockey city without psycho fans like Mtl and Tor, and certainly beats Winnipeg and Edmonton!

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#27 Burnward
June 26 2013, 09:56PM
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@Kmp

I want to see some vets, but only on two-three year deals. Let the kids develop and bring them up when they are ready.

We just have to look up the road to see what happens when you throw them to the fire and raise expectations way too high.

Let's keep a hockey culture that tries to win and allows our prospects the proper time to adjust to the pro game.

NO tank nation.

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#28 MC Hockey
June 26 2013, 09:56PM
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Kmp wrote:

3 firsts will do that, unless they go goalie and 2 Hs kids.

"Don't need goalie with Ramo coming" is perhaps the Flames attitude, would be shocked if they picked one before round 5.

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#29 Kmp
June 26 2013, 09:57PM
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@vowswithin

They could pick one in the draft, you never know. I liked that defenseman Yarullin from world junior he was passed over last year.

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#30 Burnward
June 26 2013, 09:58PM
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@MC Hockey

I knew I wasn't the only one...lol. I just can't believe how excited I am about it! Like Christmas when I'm a kid.

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#31 Burnward
June 26 2013, 09:59PM
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@MC Hockey

Don't need goalie with Gillies/Brossoit coming is probably the attitude...

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#32 MC Hockey
June 26 2013, 09:59PM
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Burnward wrote:

I knew I wasn't the only one...lol. I just can't believe how excited I am about it! Like Christmas when I'm a kid.

Yes and it's awesome! Merry Draftmas! Hey Kent, there's a new blog title!

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#33 Kmp
June 26 2013, 10:01PM
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@MC Hockey

Yeah I can't see it either Ramo, Gillies, Brossoit and Ortio. Maybe pick one late, can't see them picking Furcale.

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#34 MC Hockey
June 26 2013, 10:03PM
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Kmp wrote:

Yeah I can't see it either Ramo, Gillies, Brossoit and Ortio. Maybe pick one late, can't see them picking Furcale.

Yah that Sportsnet blog and Bleacher Report both have Flames picking Fucale late in round 1...can you say "no research"?

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#35 Burnward
June 26 2013, 10:04PM
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@Kmp

He does look pretty damn good though. But I'm super high on Gillies. Might screw us at the World Jr's...but at least he's ours.

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#36 ChinookArch
June 26 2013, 10:10PM
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Nice list of players JA.

You'd think that the desire most teams have to get younger would mean there will be a run on each of these guys, especially in light of the fact there are so few quality UFA's this off season. I wonder if the Flames could give up the 28th overall for an RFA, and recoup a 3rd round pick.

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#37 Baalzamon
June 26 2013, 10:23PM
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I fully expect the Flames to draft a goalie this year (I seem to recall hearing Feaster say something about taking a goalie in each draft in an interview). But I also recall Weisbrod saying something about not taking goalies in the first round.

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#38 MC Hockey
June 26 2013, 10:35PM
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Burnward wrote:

Don't need goalie with Gillies/Brossoit coming is probably the attitude...

Yes, those guys for 3-5 years from now while Ramo, Berra, and others come in now

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#39 MC Hockey
June 26 2013, 10:38PM
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Hey JA...what about Henrique, Pietrangelo, Gagner, Nyqvist, Muzzin...all unrealistic RFAs for Flames to offer sheet?

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#42 MC Hockey
June 26 2013, 10:52PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

the first 4 yes, muzzin i'm not convinced he'll be a top-4 guy and his offensive stats will lead to a contract that costs too much.

What about Clutterbuck...love that guy!

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#43 Burnward
June 26 2013, 10:53PM
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If the rumours out of Buffalo about Myers being available are even remotely true...that's the guy I want. Him and Brodie could be our Keith/Seabrook in a couple years.

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#46 Baalzamon
June 26 2013, 11:06PM
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@Burnward

More like Weber/Suter or Chara/Siedenberg. Except without the Norris trophies.

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#47 Burnward
June 26 2013, 11:30PM
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@Justin Azevedo

I give him a bit of a pass as a young guy.

How was his Qualcomp on Buffalo? Was he sheltered at all?

I like the thought of Gio/Wideman and Myers/Brodie a lot. A whole lot.

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#49 Burnward
June 26 2013, 11:47PM
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@Justin Azevedo

Fair enough.

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#50 negrilcowboy
June 27 2013, 06:46AM
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spurgeon, andy ference and ribeiro as free agents. shop tangs keep cammi, there may be some potential chemistry between he and ribbs. the draft is critical for feaster, blow this one and he may be POST APEX as a GM.

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