As if the NHL isn't in enough trouble, someone just figured out how to make matters worse. I wanted to mention this because I know so many Baltimore fans will want to book hotel rooms early.

They're going to play an outdoor NHL game in Buffalo on New Year's Day.

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Yep, the Sabres will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in Ralph Wilson Stadium, where 74,000 usually gather to root for the Buffalo Bills.

Here's an excerpt from an Associated Press article on the topic:

"Buffalo was chosen for its dependably cold winters and proximity to Pittsburgh, from where fans are expected to make the 225-mile trip in droves."

"Dependably cold," what a hoot!  No offense to Buffalonians, but Buffalo weather in January is like Josef Stalin's mood -- grim, threatening and always on the verge of getting worse.

And how about all those Pittsburgh fans all bundled up in their new Christmas reindeer sweaters and toting their Thermos of hot chocolate motoring in droves to Buffalo for an outdoor hockey game.

More to the point was this observation from Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, who actually played in an outdoor college game six years ago: "I got off the ice after that game and I was red in the face, windburned, and my toes were frozen ... I'm hoping I learned a little bit and can make some adjustments and figure out how to stay warm."

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