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Alex Ovechkin's 'apology'

Mar 16, 2010, 2:05 PM EDT

I didn’t expect Alex Ovechkin to say he was completely at fault for
what what happened with Brian Campbell, but I can’t believe how everyone
in Washington, D.C. seems to be completely mystified for why he was
suspended. Ted Leonsis can’t understand it, Bruce Boudreau can’t believe it
and now A.O. himself is
a bit dumbfounded.

“I am very sorry that Brian
(Campbell) was injured and I hope he is able
to return to his team soon,” Ovechkin said. “NHL hockey is a physical
game. We all play hard every time we are on the ice and have battles
each shift in every game we play so we can do our jobs and win. As
players we must accept responsibility for our actions and I am no
different but I did not intend to injure Brian and that is why I was
disappointed with the NHL’s decision (on MOnday).”

“Every time I
have the honor to play for my team, I will continue to do
what I have done since I was taught to play. I will play hard, play with
passion and play with respect for my teammates, opponents and fans,”
Ovechkin added. “I look forward to returning to my team and doing
everything I can to be the best player I can be.”

Before
I continue I have to state this disclaimer: I am not a Alex Ovechkin
hater. In fact, I love watching the guy play.

The NHL did not
suspend Ovechkin because they determined he ‘intended to injure’ Brian
Campbell. In fact, if that were the case, I have to believe that his
suspension would have been much, much longer. Ovechkin was suspended
because, like he’s done in the past, was reckless and created a
dangerous play that hurt another player. Ovechkin’s all-out style of
play is great to watch and you have to respect his love of the game, but
at some point he has to realize that he is accountable for the bad
plays he creates when he’s reckless.

This is nothing more than
that. It seems that Ovechkin and the Capitals are taking this a bit
personal; the simple truth is that every time a player is pushed — or
hit — from behind and into the boards, he’s going to be suspended. The
debates about blindside hits, hits the head or even slew-foots have no
bearing in this situation; hits from behind and into the boards always
have been and always will be punished, at every level of hockey.

  1. Wood-eye - Mar 16, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    We’re going to miss Campbell but OV plays hockey tough and barely controlled…that’s the attraction of the televised sport. Perhaps automatic icing calls should be implemented to reduce the end corner collisions. However, all this brouhaha should be directed immediately to the Cooke and Richards recent headhunting incidents and lcak of well-deserved suspensions. And to think Mike Richards is one of the 3 finalists for the Mark Messier Leadersip Award!!!

  2. hockeyfan19 - Mar 16, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    I totally disagree, OV didn’t mean to hurt this guy and he made a play that many other players would have made, Campbell fell awkwardly because his blade caught a rut. Regardless if he has been suspended before or not the play was not intentional and did not merit a 5 min major and game misconduct let a lone a suspension. What Cooke did to Savard was MUCH worse, he lined Savard up and went at his head, OV went for the body and Campbell fell wrong. Hockey is a fast paced in your face game, if you are telling players to not finish checks or play soft it’s not hockey anymore it’s pong. I agree players need to respect each other and not play dirty, but that was not a dirty play. I am a huge hockey fan, I love playing and watching the sport, when hockey returns to the NHL maybe I will start watching again.

  3. Brian - Mar 16, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    As a Caps fan, I can agree that his hit was unnecessary. He deserved a fine and a stern talking to, and perhaps a suspension.
    However, Caps fans are insulted that your statement, “every time a player is pushed–or hit–from behind and into the boards, he’s going to be suspened,” is not true. Twice since December, Capitals players have been dangerously hit from behind. Ovechkin was the victim of one of those hits back in early February against Pittsburg on national television ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkQKBGAQExQ ). The other in Colorado in December, David Koci dangerously checked Mike Green from behind ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9GjQ9CsrBI ). In neither case were suspensions handed out. In the Pittsburg game, Adams was not even given a penalty. In the Koci situation, the league simply issued a fine.
    So while many Caps fans are simply “suporting their guy,” there is also a history of inconsistency here. Anyone who fails to acknowledge that, fails to do justice to this story.

  4. Edgar Freindly - Mar 16, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    The suspension is BS. Ovie did not hit the guy from behind in any shape or form. The fact you can READ campbell’s name and number on his jersey at the time of contact proves that. This is just the NHL’s last desperate attempt to give Sid “The crybaby” Crosby the scoring title and MVP.

  5. Joe Secondbalcony - Mar 16, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    It’s his 3rd misconduct this season…likes knee to knee hits too..give me a break..

  6. Rob Selby - Mar 16, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    Why is Ovechkin such a dip@hit? The guy is an ape and a dirty player.
    Go Sid!! You’ve already got a CUP and a GOLD MEDAL! What do you punk cap fans have? Absolutely nothing! HA!

  7. Wingnut - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    Sid’s a whinny turd.

  8. Teri - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    Of course, Ovie will take the suspension like the man he is. And will be back in time for the PENS on March 24th!!! You won’t see Ovie crying in the media about how unfair his penalty is… like Cindy. Go CAPS!

  9. Anonymous - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    Yeah, didn’t Ovechkin knee-to-knee Gonchar last year in the play-offs against the Pens, putting Gonchar out for a few games?

  10. TK - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    Now this one made me laugh. The fact that the article has absolutely nothing to do with Sidney Crosby show how much a certain segment of fans obsess with him. Its laughable. And a little sad.

  11. Rob Selby - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Will the Caps choke in the play-offs, again? You Cap fans shouldn’t really be trash talking until you’ve actually WON SOMETHING!!

  12. T - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Your right he won’t be crying, because all his fans and team mates seem to do it for him. Just like all his fights, the man can’t even wipe himself.

  13. steve shanahan - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Max Lapierre was suspended for 4 games for a less dangerous hit about two weeks ago. Max Lapierre is a pest, but a clean pest and he does not have a history of injuing players. Ovie has been in the league for such a short time, but yet he has a few suspensions under his belt. Suspending Ovie for 4 games would ensure he misses the “TV” game vs. the Pens. Giving him three games would have made it obvious that they were bringing him back for the “TV” game, so he was handed a two gamer.
    My Proposed rule, once a player has three suspensions in less than 3 years, they need to set a minimum 10 games as a repeat offender. 20 games if he is suspended again. 41 games next time. 82 games next time. Permanent next time.

  14. Quisp - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    Yes, he caught a rut, I see.
    What you seem to be missing is that intent has nothing to do with it. Checking from behind is an automatic five minute major penalty and game misconduct, with the potential for additional action (i.e. suspension). Checking from behind, in the rules, specifically indicates that even a “shove” from behind, whether or not it is near the boards, is punishable. It doesn’t matter if the player who is checked from behind subsequently “hits a rut” or is injured or is not injured.

  15. crybabies - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Everyone on here needs to grow up. If you played the game at all, what Ovechkin did was nothing. It was a push-off which happens a hundred times every night during the NHL season. Campbell caught an edge and went in wrong. It’s part of the game. He should get a penalty and that’s it. I’ve done something similar and torn up an ankle. Nothing sinister. So the whining and crying about Ovechkin versus Crosby, etc., get a life.
    The NHL talks about intent but then doles out punishment which doesn’t fit the act. They are inconsistent. Just like most of the idiot fanboys on here who can’t even skate, let alone play the game at any level to understand what they’re seeing.

  16. Quisp - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    That’s a hilarious new unworkable standard. It’s only a hit from behind if the offending player eclipses the other player’s name plate from view of the TV cameras? Sorry. The standard is, the player is in a vulnerable position and the offending player pushes, shoves, cross-checks, charges or otherwise hits the player from behind. You could be three feet tall and push him in the back of the pants, it qualifies.

  17. caseyfromCalgary - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Anyone who has been on skates knows that this was a dirty play….AO is a dirty player. It is disgusting as a hockey fan to hear people defending him

  18. Quisp - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Ah, the old “if you played hockey at all” defense. Well, I’m sure there’s no shortage of folks who will take offense at that. For myself, I have played hockey for the last forty years, including several hundred games in AA/AAA youth hockey, with several players who went on to have long NHL careers, Olympic medals, NCAA championships, etc.. My coach for several of those seasons was more than once an All-American defenseman at Michigan State, and I can still remember him beating into us that checking from behind, even shoving or pushing, was extremely dangerous and unsportsmanlike, not to mention the fact that if injury resulted (in USA hockey, kids hockey, I mean) you could potentially be expelled from the league. It has always be so, for kids and in the pros, and it used to be that every so often someone would get hurt as a result of such a play, and we would all hear talk about increasing the severity of the penalty — just like now, only the incidents happened once a year, or less, instead of every day.
    As a grown-up, playing in beer leagues, I see chuckleheads (in a no-check league mind you) thinking that shoving someone from behind is totally cool. Fortunately, most of them are such poor skaters that they can’t do too much damage. but those of us who can skate and who are strong enough know how dangerous it would be to shove a player into the boards in a situation like the AO/BC check.

  19. Quisp - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Ah, the old “if you played hockey at all” defense. Well, I’m sure there’s no shortage of folks who will take offense at that. For myself, I have played hockey for the last forty years, including several hundred games in AA/AAA youth hockey, with several players who went on to have long NHL careers, Olympic medals, NCAA championships, etc.. My coach for several of those seasons was more than once an All-American defenseman at Michigan State, and I can still remember him beating into us that checking from behind, even shoving or pushing, was extremely dangerous and unsportsmanlike, not to mention the fact that if injury resulted (in USA hockey, kids hockey, I mean) you could potentially be expelled from the league. It has always be so, for kids and in the pros, and it used to be that every so often someone would get hurt as a result of such a play, and we would all hear talk about increasing the severity of the penalty — just like now, only the incidents happened once a year, or less, instead of every day.
    As a grown-up, playing in beer leagues, I see chuckleheads (in a no-check league mind you) thinking that shoving someone from behind is totally cool. Fortunately, most of them are such poor skaters that they can’t do too much damage. but those of us who can skate and who are strong enough know how dangerous it would be to shove a player into the boards in a situation like the AO/BC check.

  20. Rob Selby - Mar 16, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Go suck your own @$$, you sack of pus. You are a retard

  21. uofmcasey - Mar 16, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    I never liked the guy to begin with, but ever since he laid his stick on the ice and rubbed his hands over it and now this, NO RESPECT; he’s a skank.

  22. geezstring - Mar 16, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    I totally disagree. I do not believe the hit was wrong – there are a lot worse plays than this one that happen all the time. Yes, intentionally slamming someone into the boards while they cannot see you is one thing – this was not that situation. And I can agree that NO ONE should take an action where someone can get hurt but if you look at the severity of the check O put on Campbell – I don’t see any intend or disregard for the safety of the player. I do agree that penalizing players for being involved in these kinds of plays – makes some sense but I do not believe that this particular hit was one that required a suspension at all.

  23. Millsie#1 - Mar 16, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    hehe, when my sabres tear through the pens and caps on their way to the cup then we can settle this OV , Sid crap… screw em and send em home!

  24. Rob Selby - Mar 16, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Oooo. Now, I’m getting scared. The Sabres fan is talking trash..
    …HA!HA!HA!
    Even the Caps are higher up on the pole than you chumps.

  25. hockey fan - Mar 16, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Maybe he should’ve gotten suspended – for A game. Two games I think is a harsh. Let’s take a look at Matt Cooke and what an amazing job he did a possibly ending the season for Savard. No suspension, no penalty. The NHL is picking and choosing…the rules need to be a little more uniform if they’re going to start pulling the players’ safety card. Ovechkin is known for the hard hits, we all know that…but the NHL is trying to make a bullshit example out of him and it’s ridiculous. If the incident with Cooke and Savard hadn’t just happened with the result of NOTHING happening to Cooke, this might not be as objected by a lot of people. March 18…let’s go Boston!

  26. Adam - Mar 16, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Do you have a retention deficit disorder? You were the one crying about Sid in you’re first post. AO is a gifted goal scorer who can shoot and is lighting fast. Aside from that, he’s dangerous to be on the ice with and the rest of his skills are average. Back check, faceoffs, please…

  27. Mark - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    I am not an avid Hockey Fan; That said I thoroughly enjoyed the way it is played at the Olympics — I don’t enjoy the way it is played in the NHL

  28. H25 - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Don’t worry about Cooke. They are playing Boston on Thurday and if they have any backbone they will ignore the fact officials from the league office are coming to the game to warn both teams about retribution and kick the crap out of him.

  29. stakeX - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    Why can’t you believe people don’t understand why Ovechkin was suspended? Matt Cooke goes out of his way to intentionally try and hurt someone, like he has done countless times in his career and there was no suspension, yet Ovehckin was suspended for something that happens countless times a game, and was no more reckless or dangerous then a full on open ice hit. If Campbell didn’t lose an edge as he attempted to turn away from the push, there would have been no issue at all. It really wasn’t even a dangerous play…. it was an unfortunate play. Yet the league will allow you to head-hunt people? Awesome…..
    And dont say “Matt Cooke’s hit was legal” becuase thats simply bull. Intent to injur is in the rule book, and is more then suspendable… especially for a repeat offender. Colin Campbell just left his balls at home this week I guess… on both occasions. Didn’t have the balls to suspend a Penguins player (CC loves Pittsburg as we all know) who deliberatly ended a player season, yet buckled to the Chicago crys for a suspension. Such a shame NHL fans have to deal with this.

  30. Wangedwing - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    actually…Ovi did say he didn’t agree with the call, his teamates said much the same…I play hockey..the hit was at least dangerous, and as we found out, injurious. Hockey is a rough and tumble sport..but let me ask you a question, lets say they never call a hit like that again..and all the teams institute that style of play..you gonna watch it? Because, if this is any indication…we won’t have many players left..it’ll be nothing but goons.

  31. Wingnut - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Sid is still a whinny turd.

  32. Somethings Bruin - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    As an (unenviable) Bruins fan I have watched with dismay over the lack of these types of punishments. It’s about time they get tougher with these goons like Cooke who’s clear intent to injure with a blindside hit to the head caused a grade 2 concussion to Savard, he should have been arrested, never mind suspended. And there’s the thug Randy Jones who all but ruined a young Patrice Bergeron’s brilliant career with a blindsided hit from behind into the boards. And of course Ulf Samuelsson’s cheap shot that ended one of the premier power forwards Cam Neely’s career.
    The fact that it’s a rough sport has always been a draw (especially to an Original 6 fan like me), but it’s a damn shame when someone too stupid to realise the consequences pulls something like this. 2 games – good bye and good riddance.

  33. Wangedwing - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    yet Ovehckin was suspended for something that happens countless times a game, and was no more reckless or dangerous then a full on open ice hit.
    Thats StakeX’s opinion. doesn’t matter bro, it was still illegal, read the rule book..I agree with you on Cooke, and don’t know what he wasn’t suspended, or why a penalty wasn’t assessed, but, I know Ovi’s hit was indeed illegal. I don’t think he intended to injure, and thats not really the point..no matter how you slice it, if your on the ice, and the guy behind you gives you a shove, there is a distinct possibility that you’ll lose control and fall, your on ice for crying outloud. It happens..the rule is the rule..doesn’ tmatter, who, doesn’t matter what..the rule is the rule. Dont complain about them calling it on Ovi..bitch about them not calling it on others..lets get them consistant!

  34. SteelCityChamps - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Ovechkin could be an extra in the remake of Quest For Fire and not use make up. The dude is a cheapshot artist always will be.That’s ok because karma is a bitch.

  35. TK - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    C’mon, bud, let’s try to make some sense here. Crying about Sid in my first post? In my one and only post (before this one) regarding this article the only “crying” I did was to question what the article had to do with Sid. Adam, you need to get your readin’ straight before you attempt to take someone to task here. (Oh, and Retention Deficit Disorder? Blunder? Or attempt at humor? Either way, it made me laugh a bit. Good job.)

  36. Atgame - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    I was at the game, saw the play live. It was dirty and inexcusable.
    Now the Blackhawks lose their star defenseman for the rest of the
    season because of that knucklehead. The penalty should be the same for him, out for the rest of the season. Maybe that will make him think twice about those kind of plays in the future.

  37. Atgame - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    I was at the game, saw the play live. It was dirty and inexcusable.
    Now the Blackhawks lose their star defenseman for the rest of the
    season because of that knucklehead. The penalty should be the same for him, out for the rest of the season. Maybe that will make him think twice about those kind of plays in the future.

  38. Paul - Mar 16, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    The hit Ovi made on Campbell would not have been a penalty if he didn’t have two suspensions this season and should have had another for the hit on Gonchar in the playoffs last spring.
    Any deliberate attept to injure should be an automatic suspension.
    Cooke should have received a 10 game suspension for head hunting and the Downe hit on Crosby should have received a game misconduct and a suspension.
    The Caps are so far ahead in the weak a$$ Atlantic Division that the two games Ovi got can be a vacation.

  39. Bobby - Mar 16, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    “The debates about blindside hits, hits the head or even slew-foots have no bearing in this situation; hits from behind and into the boards always have been and always will be punished, at every level of hockey.”
    Really? Then how come David Koce wasn’t suspended for this hit on Mike Green earlier this season?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8hR5UQltaM&feature=PlayList&p=1658AB2EFD4EBE7B&index=95

  40. Lisa - Mar 16, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    What does sid have to do with anything. I am a Pens fan and didn’t see where Sid had a commentary on Ovechkin’s hit. I think that the league has to crack down on the cheap /dirty hits that are happening. The league missed the mark when they didn’t suspend Matt Cooke for his hit on Savard and the Downe hit on Crosby also should have resulted in a suspension. I realize hitting is part of the game, but flagrant, cheap hits have no place in the NHL.

  41. Eddie - Mar 16, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    yes, he flew in from above and the fact that you can see part of his jersey is proof.

  42. Anonymous - Mar 16, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Please do the world a favor and don’t breed. You sound like a typical, bitter Caps fan who is going to piss and moan again this spring when the Cap players are golfing instead of playing for the cup.

  43. Juan - Mar 16, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    I’ve seen this same type of play happen many dozens of times & a penalty is not called 99% of them.I personally think this type of play is a penalty,a 2 minute one,NOT a Suspension of any type.When you compare it to Cooke’s hit or any of the other headshot’s that didn’t even merit a penalty in the NHL’s eyes, it’s absurd to issue this suspension. Let’s face facts, the ref’s all call the game differently & turn a blind eye to many flagrant violations,I.E. Holstrom in the crease,that horrible goal against the Pens where the player knocked Fluery’s glove down with his stick on a routine shot that counted for a goal,any on the many blindside headshots. I like the Hawks & it sucks that Campbell is out for the regular season.

  44. Big G from Texas - Mar 16, 2010 at 10:45 PM

    Rob Stupid… ComeOnMan!! Get real.. I am a fan of hockey and know that each and every night it takes at least 2 or more guys to control Alex the Great…
    Yea, like some people that just don’t understand X’s and O’s in any sports, It is true Sid the kid has a Cup, and yes that is earned by a whole team, and he has a Gold Medal and yes that is earned by a whole country, enough said on Sids team awards.
    The problem with what Sid the sissy doesn’t have is guts.. He is a clean up guy like Dino Sissyreally once was or St.Louis. Sid has great skating skills and flicking strenghts, but again, he will never have 2 or more players on him nightly and also will never win as many self earned awards in his lifetime.. Oh did I say Alex shares the puck to his team, that is why he will win another point trophy this year and he is a freaking Left Winger not a CENTER!! Give me a break ROB..
    Hockey is a tough sport, just ask that goon we let go last year Matt Cooke, what a DONK, if it wasn’t for Cooke smashing guys and doing the dirty, Sid the sissy wouldn’t have as many goals as he has this year up until now.. BTW.. What happened to #71 Makin Bacon? I guess Sid the sissy is being fed the puck more then Malkin and when he isn’t hanging around the net to stuff the trash in..
    Ovechkin is, I mean will be the next Ore/Hull/Gretsky, when it’s all said and done..
    Sid will be like Tom Brady or Eli Manning crying to the Zebras, OV hit me, that’s not fair, Ovechkin sits and slides on his butt and scores goals, that’s not fair.. Ovechkin slaps the puck so hard that television tech cannot pick up his shot, that isn’t fair.. Get used to it..
    Rob first of all!! Learn the freakin sport.. This $hi& feeds the sport of hockey and the whole league is affraid of Alex the Great..
    Big G will also smash your a$$ if I was on the ice. LMAO.. So learn the game and understand what 260 pounds of a beast flying like a 747 down the ice will feel like if you are player that happens to get run over so you can be on SPorts Center highlights because you were next to OV..
    ATTN: To all GM’s and owners out there that might also read this, if it wasn’t for Ovechkin or Sissy Boy Crosby fueling the need for Joe wannabe skater out there that knows everything about who is better that the next player and thus the Zebras and media wouldn’t feed this hype, the hockey league would be in the dump like it was before and after the stike. BORING!!!!! Losing money daily..

  45. TK - Mar 17, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Wow! Take your ritalin and relax! (And I highly doubt any GMs or owners are reading your rants – get over yourself already).

  46. Mardam - Mar 17, 2010 at 8:25 AM

    I DID play the game. In high school, college and the AHL. It’s a penalty. It was unnecessary. You don’t hit someone from behind (yes, the fact that you could read Cambell’s name and number doesn’t prove it wasn’t from behind. Sheesh who was that guy anyway?)after they’ve gotten rid of the puck. Finishing a check is taking someone into the boards or shouldering them off in the open ice, not pushing them from behind like that. He deserved it. And please let’s stop with the conspiracy theories about Sid the Kid or comparing it to something else. Makes you sound like 6yr olds.
    I LOVE OV. But he is getting a rep, and not a good one. This hurts him in two ways. First, eventually he is going to tone down his game. That may be good because he won’t get suspended, but also bad. He does play on the edge, and needs that. There are ways to play like that and not put yourself in this position. But he likes to line guys up in the open ice too. And sooner or later, like once already this year, he’s going to miss by just a bit and stick that leg out. And next time he may blow someone’s knee out, or worse, his own.
    And that leads me to the second way his rep will hurt him. Right now, opposition players shy away from trying to line him up in the open ice. Too much chance to miss and set up a good scoring chance for the Caps. But soon, if this continues, players will begin looking for him. They’ll begin to get the idea that it just might be worth the chance. And that’s no good for anyone, especially Ovechkin and the Caps.
    This is getting to be a worrisome trend. Where there’s smoke….

  47. Love for the game not the NHL - Mar 17, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Whether you agree or disagree with the suspension, the issue is not OV, or Cooke, or any other player out there. It’s Colin Campbell and the NHL. The following is a great article that pretty much sums it up. INCONSISTENCY.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=burnside_scott&id=4998669

  48. Hockeyfan10 - Apr 12, 2010 at 12:50 AM

    As far as Ovechkin goes, he does dirty hits throughout the season, and this one is no different. Of all the Capitals games I’ve watched, the refs are usually pretty easy on Ovechkin, and often make calls in favor of the Capitals. So complaining about a suspension is ridiculous-it was a long time coming. I agree that the refs are inconsistent, and the real problem is them not enforcing the rules.

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