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Proteau's Blog: Fowl Bawl

• Kudos to Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer for putting aside pondering retirement for a minute and standing up for...um, ducks.

I hope this starts a trend of social consciousness in the NHL. St. Louis players could take a much-needed stand against John Mayer's continuing assault on the blues, while the Capitals could stage rallies in protest of k.d. lang.

• It's been too long since I've had Doug “There's no ‘my' in ‘fault' ” MacLean to kick around, so you can imagine my excitement when the recently-deposed Blue Jackets GM resurfaced Tuesday as minority owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In his introductory news conference as Bolts co-owner, MacLean did not disappoint those who've become accustomed to his endless array of excuses why his teams have shown a remarkable ability to reek like dirty diapers year after year.

“I had the 28th (lowest) payroll in the league last year in Columbus,” MacLean said. “I didn't like it.”

However, as intrepid Columbus Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline points out, the Blue Jackets actually had the 24th-lowest payroll in the league in 2006-07, were just $4 million under the salary cap, and three of the six teams that spent less qualified for the playoffs.

Portzline was gracious enough not to note the Blue Jackets' abysmal drafting record since their inception, but I'm sure there's a perfectly viable reason for that, too. Just ask MacLean.

• Finally, in honor of the brilliant feature of the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts, here's some “Monkey News” to brighten your day.

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