Monday, December 24, 2007

Penguins and Sabres to Play Outside!

The NHL has scheduled its first outdoor game since 2003, with Pittsburgh visiting Buffalo in the 73,000-seat Ralph Wilson Stadium on New Years Day, 2008. The current NHL attendance record is 57,167, when Montreal visited Edmonton; this is poised to be shattered, as tickets for Buffalo-Pittsburgh sold out within half an hour. Commissioner Gary Bettman waxed poetic, saying, "There is something very special about taking hockey out into the elements, back to its roots, back to the place where so many boys and girls first learned to love our game." Added Penguins GM Ray Shero: "We're hoping that, in the worst case, it might be cold. That would be great."

This would be awesome to see, hockey is best as an outdoor game. I wish I could get tickets to see the Sabres and Penguins play outside!

Just take a look at these teams, The Buffalo Sabres:
61 Afinogenov, Maxim RW Moscow, USSR
51 Campbell, Brian D Strathroy, ON
19 Connolly, Tim C Syracuse, NY
28 Gaustad, Paul C Fargo, ND
55 Hecht, Jochen C Mannheim, West Germany
45 Kalinin, Dmitri D Chelyabinsk, USSR
12 Kotalik, Ales RW Jindrichuv Hradec, Czechoslovakia
5 Lydman, Toni D Lahti, Finland
22 Mair, Adam C Hamilton, ON
30 Miller, Ryan G East Lansing, MI
38 Paetsch, Nathan D LeRoy, SK
20 Paille, Daniel LW Welland, ON
76 Peters, Andrew LW St. Catharines, ON
29 Pominville, Jason RW Repentigny, PQ
4 Pratt, Nolan D Fort McMurray, AB
9 Roy, Derek C Ottawa, ON
37 Ryan, Michael C Milton, MA
6 Spacek, Jaroslav D Rokycany, Czechoslovakia
21 Stafford, Drew RW Milwaukee, WI
10 Tallinder, Henrik D Stockholm, Sweden
35 Thibault, Jocelyn G Montreal, PQ
26 Vanek, Thomas LW Graz, Austria
Injured Reserve
No. Player Pos Birthplace
27 Numminen, Teppo D Tampere, Finland

The Pittsburgh Penguins
20 Armstrong, Colby RW Lloydminster, SK
16 Christensen, Erik C Edmonton, AB
35 Conklin, Ty G Anchorage, AK
87 Crosby, Sidney C Cole Harbour, NS
3 Eaton, Mark D Wilmington, DE
55 Gonchar, Sergei D Chelyabinsk, USSR
18 Hall, Adam RW Kalamazoo, MI
48 Kennedy, Tyler C Sault Ste. Marie, ON
27 Laraque, Georges RW Montreal, PQ
58 Letang, Kris D Montreal, PQ
71 Malkin, Evgeni C Magnitogorsk, USSR
12 Malone, Ryan LW Pittsburgh, PA
44 Orpik, Brooks D San Francisco, CA
10 Roberts, Gary LW North York, ON
37 Ruutu, Jarkko LW Helsinki, Finland
30 Sabourin, Dany G Val d'Or, PQ
4 Scuderi, Robert D Syosset, NY
11 Staal, Jordan C Thunder Bay, ON
5 Sydor, Darryl D Edmonton, AB
17 Sykora, Petr RW Plzen, Czechoslovakia
38 Taffe, Jeff LW Hastings, MN
19 Whitney, Ryan D Boston, MA
Injured Reserve
No. Player Pos Ht Wt DOB Birthplace
29 Fleury, Marc-Andre G Sorel, PQ
25 Talbot, Maxime C Lemoyne, PQ

I'm pretty sure that this is the hottest ticket in sports right now (except maybe to see the Celtics big three of kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, or maybe the Patriots game at Giant Stadium next week). Hopefully the NHL will do more outside games like this one. I think it's good for the game. Let's hope the game itself lives up to the 70,000 fans!

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