Would Boeser and Gaudette be Better Served by Going to the Comets This Year?

Just under a year ago, with the regular season winding down,
Michigan Wolverines defenceman Zach Werenski had a choice to make. It was clear that he
wouldn’t be returning to college hockey the following season, and it was just
as clear that he would instead be playing with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The
choice was this: should he jump to the NHL for a game or two at the end of the
year and burn an year off his entry level contract, or should he go to the
American League instead, for a fraction of the money, to a team that was at
least going to make the playoffs?

Werenski chose the latter option, and ended up being a dynamic force
on a Lake Erie Monsters team that ended up winning the Calder Cup championship.

A similar decision looms for two Canucks prospects that could turn
pro at the end of the season. While the Comets aren’t nearly as strong as the
Monsters were last year, they’ve at least got a better chance of making the
playoffs in their respective league than their parent club does – which could
mean more games for the duo.

So what are the pros and cons of each option, and which are they
better suited to choosing?

Option 1: The NHL

Ryan Biech posted an article recently about how the Canucks could
use a tool afforded by the CBA to entice Boeser and Gaudette to sign this spring – that
is, they could burn a year off of their three year Entry Level Contracts,
bringing them one year closer to RFA status and bigger paycheques.

The pros of this option are pretty clear: the prospect gets a big
fat signing bonus and an NHL wage while he’s on the roster; his ELC ends one
year earlier than it would if signed in the off season; he gets a taste of NHL
competition; and the Canucks get to parade around a fancy new toy to try and
entice some fans to come out and watch a team that is out of the playoff mix.

There are wins to be had for everybody using this method. One major question that I would have is this: is it really the best thing for the
prospect to be put into an NHL game straight out of college, as opposed to
having a buffer period in the American League? On top of that, they’ll be
extremely limited in the amount of games they could get into. The Canucks would
only have a handful of contests remaining at that point, and Willie Desjardins might be
loath to stick a pair of 20-year old professional rookies into the lineup in
the same game.

If they wanted to head to the AHL after that, they’d be out of luck.
If a prospect is playing on an NHL contract, then they are only allowed to play
in the AHL playoffs if they were on the AHL roster at the time of the trade
deadline. That means once Boeser and Gaudette joined the Canucks, they’d be
ruled out of the AHL playoffs.

There is a way around that however: heading to the AHL first

Option 2: The AHL

This method works quite a bit differently than Option 1, and it’s
nearly opposite in its pros and cons. For one, the prospect would have to sign
an Amateur Tryout contract to play in the American League, and those don’t pay
nearly as well as NHL contracts, and they sure as hell don’t come with signing
bonuses. The Canucks would then be able to sign the prospects to NHL Entry Level Contracts, although they wouldn’t kick in until the following year. With the players not playing any NHL games, they wouldn’t get the signing bonuses yet either – so some personal sacrifice would be in order.

If members of the Vancouver fanbase are paying for AHL Live
subscriptions (as I am), they can see the prospects in action in the minors. But there
are no games on TV, and nothing special to see in Rogers Arena. They won’t get
an early chance to compete against NHL players, or rub shoulder with them in an
NHL dressing room.

What they might get a chance to do is play meaningful hockey games –
the kinds of games that Canucks management has been saying all year it wants
its players to be playing in March and April. With the Canucks, that’s not
likely to happen. They’re five points out of a wild card spot, now sitting idly
on their bye-week while the teams in front of them pull further ahead. Their chances at a playoff spot have been pegged at less than 5% by HockeyViz.com,
and the mood around the rink lately is more often one of disappointment rather
than hope for the future.

The Comets, meanwhile, sit in fifth place in their division, in a
league where the top four teams in each division make the playoffs no matter
what. They need a couple of wins to catch the sinking St. John’s Ice Caps and
secure their spot in the postseason, and there are still plenty of games to do

While the Comets aren’t primed to go on a deep run, they aren’t
completely hopeless. While goaltending has been a little inconsistent, as
Thatcher Demko struggles to navigate his rookie professional season, the Comets
biggest problem has always been (for basically their entire existence) their
goal scoring. The Comets are currently scoring 2.58 goals per game, which is
22nd in the AHL. Their 25th ranked PDO of 98.74 is largely driven down by a
22nd ranked shooting percentage of 8.57% (though their 25th ranked save
percentage isn’t helping either).

Surely they could use the boost from two of the NCAA’s best
offensive underclassmen. But what of the benefit to the players themselves?

The Precedent

Zach Werenski’s decision to head to the American League instead of
the NHL last year was applauded by many in the hockey world, a decision made
with development in mind instead of just money. Columbus beat reporter Aaron
Portzline laid out three benefits to Werenski’s decision, the first two of
which could apply to the Canucks, as well as Boeser and Gaudette.

While the Canucks still consider themselves to be in the hunt for a
playoff spot, the reality is that that ship has already sailed. Their already
miniscule chances of making the postseason should only diminish after the trade
deadline, when they have ideally shipped out a couple of veterans who are
playing in sizable roles with the club as of now.

By early March, when Gaudette would be available, and late March,
when Boeser would probably be available, the Canucks too should be
“playing out the string”. These might be decent games to see what you
have in players like Alex Grenier, Joe LaBate, Andrey Pedan, and Jordan Subban, who already
have years of pro experience under their belts. But it might not be the best
situation to throw some of your top young prospects into – players who have
never had a taste of pro hockey.

Like Werenski, Boeser is a top tier prospect that nearly everyone
(including his own college coach) expects to be in the NHL next year. That
doesn’t mean he needs to try his luck in the NHL right now though. Especially
on a faltering team playing for a coach that might not even be back next year.
It might make more sense to have Boeser’s Canucks debut come at the beginning
of next season, following off-season workouts and an NHL training camp
(something Boeser has never been a part of because of the NCAA’s rules).

There’s also his wrist injury to consider. While the surgery was
labeled a success, Boeser has produced well below expectations this season and
there’s reason to think that he might not be back to 100%. In fact, in my
viewings of him, he seems to be treating his right wrist rather gingerly still,
carrying his stick one-handed more often than you’d expect him too and not
getting as much velocity on his wrist shot, causing a large percentage of them to be blocked. A lower pressure situation with
more workouts and instruction time might be better for him.

As for Gaudette, he doesn’t quite fit the bill of top-tier prospect,
as Werenski did and Boeser does. We don’t even know yet if he’s going to turn pro after this season. Trevor Linden recently spoke to the Province’s Ben Kuzma on the subject, and the Canucks brass still appear to be weighing their options.

“We haven’t come to a full conclusion on that, but speaking now I would say that physically he has got a ways to go,” Linden told the Province. “For him to have another great summer of training and another great year and then make his transition to pro, is probably the direction that he’s leaning and we fully support that.

“It’s really important that when he does make the move to pro that he’s in a spot where he’s physically mature and mentally ready for it. It won’t be a waste of a year for him because he’s committed to getting better.”

As Kuzma mentioned in his article, comments like “It won’t be a waste of a year” may indicate that the Canucks have grown especially weary of high scoring centres transitioning to the next level after a pretty uninspiring season and a half from Cole Cassels, who came highly acclaimed following a monstrous final season in the the OHL.

Of course, there’s a vast difference between the 1.5 points per game that Cassels scored in the OHL on a championship team as a 20 year, and the 1.58 points per game that Gaudette is scoring in the NCAA’s Hockey East on a bottom feeder team as a 20 year old. All the same, caution isn’t a bad plan, which is why heading to Utica after this season instead of the NHL makes even
more sense for Gaudette as it does for Boeser.

Werenski isn’t the only example of this either. During the 2015 playoffs, Detroit Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin left the University of Michigan after only one year, signing an ATO with the Grand Rapids Griffins and jumping right into playoff hockey. In fact, we got a upclose view of Larkin’s professional debut, as the Griffins were playing against the Utica Comets in the third round of the AHL playoffs. Larkin had a goal and four assists in six games. The Philadelphia Flyers did the same thing with Shayne Gostisbehere in 2013-14, in which he played two games with the Adirondack Phantoms.

Closer to home (from an organizational perspective), the Comets signed a pair of the Canucks’ college prospects to tryout contracts: Ben Hutton and Joseph LaBate. Hutton played four games with the Comets that year, and was signed to an Entry Level Contract on March 16th, which during actually kick in until the following season. Joe LaBate played two games at the tail end of that season for the Comets, signing him to an Entry Level deal on April 30th.

An Extra Perk

The third benefit mentioned by Portzline has less to do with the
prospects and more to do with the team:

By waiting to sign his Entry Level Contract, it didn’t kick in until
the start of the 2016-17 season, with Werenski playing out his time in Lake
Erie on his ATO. As a result, 2015-16 didn’t count as a professional season in
regard to the expansion draft. At the time of the signing, expansion was still
a bit up in there air: the official announcement of both Vegas being granted a
team, and the expansion draft rules didn’t occur until late June. The Blue
Jackets delayed the start of Werenski’s ELC so that he would be exempt from
expansion in 2018, if for some reason the Vegas league entry was pushed back a
year, or another team was granted entry for the 2018-19 season – which at this
point seems highly unlikely.

If the Canucks choose to delay the start of Boeser’s and Gaudette’s
ELC’s to the start of the 2017-18 season, they would be exempt from any
potential expansion draft in 2019 (assuming it used the same rules as the
current one). We have no evidence at this point that there would be an
expansion draft in 2019, but we suspect that the league wants to expand from 31
to 32 teams sooner rather than later, so delaying the ELC’s for a year would be
a wise case of “better safe than sorry”.

While Canucks fans might be yearning to see something that gives
them hope at the end of the year, I think that everyone involved would be
better off in the long run if Brock Boeser and Adam Gaudette started walking
before running, when it comes to professional hockey.

  • Dirty30

    There has been too much desperation on the big club and tossing more prospects into the deep end makes little sense in their development.

    Let these players follow a traditional trajectory in their development by playing where they can get a taste of the next step before taking on the rigours of the full NHL season.

    It would be really galling to have a prospect mutilated in a meaningless game by some team in full prep mode for the play-offs. It’s a concern that the team needs to address if guys like Burrows and Hansen are traded.

    • Vanoxy

      The AHL is clearly the best bet for the team, and the development of the player.

      The problem is, the players in question could threaten to pull a Schultz/Vesey, and stay in school until they become UFA and jam up the team that drafted them.

      I hope these guys are committed and loyal players, who want to develop within the system here.
      But, burning that year of ELC is a tempting nugget that some agents might play hardball to secure.

      Fingers crossed that these guys and their reps will do the right thing.

    • Pat Quinn Way

      Totally agree with this. One of the biggest problems the Canucks have these days is that they go straight from Step A (AHL) to Step C (NHL) missing out Step B altogether (proper development) and then look foolish when it backfires (Virtanen, Pedan, Chaput etc).

      Unless you have a genuine NHL ready stud like McDavid, Matthews, Tkachuk or Laine i believe you need to build a winning mentality with these young guys in the AHL first. If you look at the farm teams of high flying NHL teams like LA, Anaheim, Washington and Columbus they have all developed alot of their young guys in the AHL first and all won Calder Cups doing so.

      We were on this same path only a few seasons ago reaching the Calder Final, then took several steps back instead of building upon that.

      I’d let Boeser and Gaudette start off as Comets and if they excel bring em up like Pittsburgh did with Conor Sheary and Matt Murray!

      Unfortunately, can’t see this happening on Bennings watch now.

      • DJ_44

        This kinda completely misses the point. Signing Boeser and Gaudette and having them play in one or two games this season is not a development mistake. As stated, it is an enticement to sign.

        The only downside (an by no means insignificant) from a Canucks’ perspective is burning a year off the ELC.

        It does not, however, impede their development or prevent (waiver free) assignment to the AHL next season.

        The examples you cited are completely irrelevant. Virtanen is a CHL product: it was either back to Jr or the NHL. This year (his first year eligible) he is where he needs to be in the AHL (should have happened at the start of the season).

        Regarding the remaining two: Pedan is still in the AHL, developing, and has had played with the Canucks a few times (with limited success). Chaput won the Calder Cup last year, started in the AHL this year and was called up.

      • The reason why the Comets are weak now is because a lot of the talent was promoted to the NHL or do not qualify for the AHL.

        – Shinkaruk became Granlund, Stecher was exceptional and didn’t need development in the AHL, Tryamkin refused to go down and has shown that he can jump from the KHL. Even the off-season AHL depth (Megna and Chaput) are in the NHL.

        – The bulk of the remaining prospects are restricted to junior or amateur status. Juolevi is underaged while Boeser, Lockwood and Gaudette can’t sign while playing in the NCAA.

        It’s not a step back since the parent club needed the players. Also, are we trying to build a championship NHL team or a championship AHL team?

      • ManicSt

        Burrows, Kesler, and Bieksa all played together in Manitoba before coming up to the Canucks, and I think that gave them the experience and chemistry to go from a good AHL to NHL team. Benning was just talking about how Virtanen needs a playmaker down in Utica, maybe Gaudette can be that guy for him. Let these guys develop together and become the core of a good AHL team, that’s more prudent, and they get used to winning.

        • Pat Quinn Way

          Exactly mate, Those guys and AV as coach of both teams are proof that the process of building chemistry and familiarity works if you let it! (it worked even better for Mike Sullivan and Pittsburgh)

          In other sports like soccer a team is often forged through the ‘reserves’, where a healthy number of young players come up through the ranks together and then make it into the first team augmented by some big star signings (UFAS) – FC Barcelona being a prime example of this. I see no reason why hockey teams can’t follow the same path.

          I must admit, I thought the piece was asking about whether Boeser and Gaudette should start in the A or NHL ‘next season’ so my bad 😉 But yeah, i believe the reason so many young Canucks players are sent down, yo=yo between the two leagues, or just don’t cut it is because they simply aren’t ready for the show ‘yet’.

          Let’s be honest, a lot of fans wanted Demko in net next season, they want Juolevi as a top 2 D and running the PP and are already penciling in Boeser as first or second line winger?! That’s just crazy talk isn’t it?

  • apr

    Will Green even play them? I recall that Hutton being on perma-bench when he was sent to Utica after college. Granted the Comets are not in the throes of a Calder Cup race, but WD junior is as likely to staple Boeser and Gaudette at the press “to see what it takes to be a pro”. I’d rather them play for the Nucks to get them on a proper off season plan. Gaudette appears to be a real find.

  • Condorman

    The problem isn’t the players or their skill level, or how we think they fit in…..Willie D is an odd coach who doesn’t really trust young players and would rather play cautious and safe. This is a KILLER for progress or any new talent or even older talent we see in the system.
    Pedan and Subban are just 2 examples of players that EVERY fan would like to see be given a chance to play. Willie will never let that happen unless X guys go down with injuries.
    We need a rebuild which includes a coach with leeway as well as teaching ability.

  • Vanoxy

    “Also, are we trying to build a championship NHL team or a championship AHL team?”

    The ultimate goal is building an NHL championship team, but that’s not happening in the next 5 years.

    Winning a couple of AHL titles in the meantime would be a good idea as far as seasoning prospects to the grind of a long playoff run.

    Zack Werenski was mentioned in the article, and is a great example of the kind of conditioning that would benefit these kids before they make the leap to the big league.

    • Normally I would agree that a strong farm team suggests a bright future for an NHL team but in this case, we’re looking at two NCAA players who have played against adults for the last 2 seasons. Moreover, Boeser and Gaudette have had at least 1 outstanding season (~1.5 PPG) suggesting that they have exceptional ability. If Boeser and Gaudette can make the jump, I’d rather see them grow with Horvat, Baertschi, Granlund, Stecher, Tryamkin, Hutton and Gaunce over watching Megna, Chaput or Skille be placeholders.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    Why is it deemed necessary to include an “enticement” of an ELC year burn to get these players to sign? “Here’s a professional hockey contract, show well and you could be in the show by September, and even if you’re not, you’ll be earning a good paycheque to play hockey and try to make the NHL.” How is that not incentive enough for a kid living in the dorms to sign a contract?

    • Bud Poile

      NCAA graduates don’t always sign with the NHL club that drafted them.

      NHL managers will burn a year to entice the NCAA player to sign with the club that drafted them.

      Benning and the Canucks can ill afford to lose either Boeser or Gaudette to free agency.

      This is all about getting both of these players into the Canucks organization without risking and suffering their loss.

      • Chris the Curmudgeon

        I know the rules but it’s not like there’s some major urgency here. They’re still years away from that possibility. Maybe next summer that’s a consideration but if they’re signed this year, there’s nothing wrong with starting in the A and no reason to pretend like a pro contract, especially at the likely entry level max, after 2 years of college isn’t a nice plum without needing some extra sweetener.

        • Bud Poile

          Boeser will leave classes in a few months.

          Gaudette may decide to turn pro at that time,as well.

          If they are not signed within 30 days,as the rules stipulate, they can sign anywhere else.

          Realistically,NCAA players can pretty much do as they wish so they hold the hammer.

          That is why NHL teams provide incentives to sign NCAA players ASAP.This isn’t CHL draft prospect rules.

          Boeser probably wants to play in/for Minnesota and Gaudette with his favorite team.

          The Canucks can’t afford to lose either of these players so the NCAA player is in the enviable position of dictating terms.

          • Braindead Benning

            Your right Bud they can’t afford to lose either of these players because quite frankly the Canucks don’t have a lot of depth…

            And that my friend now lies on the shoulders of the current GM not MG anymore there Pumpkin… Old Dim Jim has had plenty of time to “stock the cupboards” and still remain competitive however, after 3 years and sitting @ 26th again pretty much sums what you’re going to get.

            Take this coming draft for instance, using Stan Bowman for example, he has assembled a legitimate cup contender with some fine young prospects and still has 10 draft picks this year

            And how many have JB and brass provided for the fans of the Vancouver Canucks?

          • Bud Poile

            What the hell are you talking about now,Braindead?

            There are no prospects because your hero Gilis was an inept idiot. He didn’t leave either club depth of any kind.

            Benning has had 2.5 years to man a completely gutted NHL team and begin building depth for the future.

            Give your head a shake. Hard. Harder.Not hard enough if you answer this.

          • How can you say the current team is as good as it gets when it doesn’t include most of Benning’s draft picks such as Juolevi, Boeser, Gaudette, Demko, Virtanen, Lockwood, Brisebois, Neill, Zhukenov or Jasek?

            More over, the extra 3 draft picks that Chicago acquired are in the 5-7 round range. In the last 10 years (38 picks in total), Chicago has only had 3 decent players come out of those rounds: Kruger, Shaw and Smith. Quality counts as much as quantity.

          • Braindead Benning

            For sure the team will have more of Benning’s draft picks however, if you take out the obvious in Boeser and Juolevi and Gaudette to a lesser degree IMO i just don’t envision a major improvement, besides like every prospect there is no guarantee that any will turn out to be NHL players.

            On the other hand without quantity its makes it more challenging finding quality? Either way you want to look at it this team desperately needs to get as many picks possible so they can focus on depth and development.

          • Is it just me or do I see a contradiction in what you just wrote? If we remove Benning’s top picks and leave only the late round draft picks, it’s not much of a future. But if we look at Chicago and how they’ve stockpiled a bunch of late round picks, that’s a good thing.

          • TD

            This was covered a lot. As I remember it, an NCAA becomes a free agent if they don’t sign by August 15 after their senior year. Boeser and Gaudette are both two years away from that. Burning a year of their ELC is a good enticement if a player is not signed after their senior year. If the Canucks were worried, I would try the enticement of burning a year of the ELC after next year while they are still a year away from the players having the free agent option. I think they would benefit more from being in Utica, although I would not play Boeser if his wrist isn’t 100%. Sign him and monitor his rehab.

            Vesey was a senior last year. Nashville could have signed and played him which would have burned his first year. Instead he opted to sign with NYR on August 15 and his ELC started this year.

          • Bud Poile

            30 days after leaving college they are free agents if the Canucks haven’t signed them.This is not an issue two years away in the future.Boeser is leaving while Gaudette has the choice to turn pro now,as well.

            A team has the rights of an NCAA player until 30 days after the player leaves the college.


          • DJ_44

            This is just plain incorrect information. The 30-day stuff is not applicable.

            The Canucks hold Boeser’s rights until August 15 2019 (provided they make a bona fide offer); the year of his graduating class because he enrolled the September of his draft year as an 18 year old.

            The key items are “draft” age and when they enroll.

            Age when signed will determine how many years the ELC term is.

            This is why we kinda wanted Demko to sign last year (after his junior year) so as not to play out his senior year and then he would only be 4 months away from free agency.

            Ryan Vietch has covered this a few places before (although not this particular topic in his piece reference in this article); and he does a much better job explaining it then I do.

          • Andy

            Ding ding ding!

            From the CBA: (Emphasis Mine)

            “If a Player drafted at age 18 or 19, who had received a Bona Fide Offer in accordance with Section 8.6(a)(ii) above, becomes a bona fide college student prior to the second June 1 following his selection in the Entry Draft and does not remain a bona fide college student through the graduation of his college class, his drafting Club shall retain exclusive rights for the negotiation of his services until the later of: (a) the FOURTH June 1 following his selection in the Entry Draft, or (b) thirty (30) days after NHL Central Registry receives notice that the Player is no longer a bona fide college student; PROVIDED that if the Player ceases to be a bona fide college student on or after January 1 of an academic year and the Player: (1) is in his fourth year of college and has commenced his fourth year of NCAA eligibility, or (2) is in his fourth year of college and is scheduled to graduate from college at the end of his fourth year, then in the circumstances described in (1) or (2), the Club shall retain the exclusive right of negotiation for such Player’s services through and including the August 15 following the date on which he ceases to be a bona fide college student.”

            My interpretation is that 18/19 year old NCAA draftees are club property until 4 drafts have passed, or the player is no longer a college student (after Jan 1st and they’re in their 4th year of a NCAA eligibility/about to graduate).

            The risk that many teams want to avoid is a player finishing their 3rd year, and undergoing one more year of college so they can become a free agent. Thankfully, both Boeser and Gaudette are in their 2nd NCAA season and are two years away from becoming free agents.

          • Hockey Warrior

            Hahaha Bud the DUD strikes again eh – oh dear, that’s what he gets for relying on wiki wiki wiki!

            Anyway, guys, hate to burst your rose tinted BUBBLE but Boeser and especially Gaudette are NOT Jack Eichel, Jummy Vesey or further back, PAUL KARIYA level players. Let them PROVE themselves in the minors first and if not, who cares, NEITHER of these kids are gonna be MATTY TKACHUK or NIC EHLERS!

            Why are you MUGS so DELUDED by Canucks HYPE when it comes to evaluating players. Next you’ll be telling us that DEMKO is gonna be better than MATT MURRAY!

            Bigger picture guys – BIGGER PICTURE

            Have a GREAT weekend fellas 😀

  • JuiceBox

    How about playing it by ear? If both are ready to leave school after this year then invite them to training camp with no expectations and see how it goes. If they are ready for NHL it’ll show, if not they go to Utica. So to answer the question, both players are best served playing where there skill level dictates they play.

        • JuiceBox

          Yes Bud we know. But I think you are making a mountain of a molehill. There have been a few high profile instances recently where an NCAA player has decided to go a different direction but in each of those cases the player told their respective NHL teams to pound sand months in advance, or in Veseys case, no communication at all. Canucks brass have had an open line of communication with both players from day one and neither player has shown any hints that they don’t want to be part of the Canucks system

          Given the history and current relationship between both players and the Canucks organization, the situation you are alluding too is highly unlikely.

          • Bud Poile

            From the comments herein most fans don’t know.

            Boeser can tell the Canucks to get stuffed and go play anywhere he wants.

            You and I and everybody else here knows not where he really wants to play and an NCAA player of his caliber can choose by not signing with the club that drafted him.

            Brock doesn’t owe the Canucks anything.
            We the fans/outsiders certainly aren’t privy to his true relationship with this club and the Canucks have to acquiesce to what Brock thinks is best for his future-if the Canucks want to sign him at all.

    • That is a well reasoned answer for NEXT year, but I’m strictly talking about the end of this season. There will be no training camp before then, so the AHL route seems like the wiser one to me. The start of next season might be a different story, but that’s still a ways off.

  • Bud Poile


    A player not signed by drafted team within two years can reenter draft, assuming they are still eligible, and if they are not eligible, will become unrestricted an free agent. A team has the rights of an NCAA player until 30 days after the player leaves the college. If a player is drafted a second time, they can not reenter the draft. If a player has entered the draft twice and not been selected, they then become free agents regardless of age.


  • TD

    In early and late March, Gaudette and Boeser will still be in classes at their University. While many players leave to join teams, others may want to finish their classes. I know it was mentioned last year that Boeser’s mom wanted Brock to get an education and that was one of the reasons he went back this past year. If he is still recovering from an injured wrist, I wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed in school until the end of the semester. They may allow him to finish his courses by distance ed, but that may not be possible.