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Proteau's Blog: Out in the cold

• The NHL's outdoor game between the Penguins and Sabres is the talk of Buffalo – only not for the right reasons. Sure, the game sold out almost instantly, but scum-of-the-earth, ticket-scalping vultures apparently hoovered up many of them, leaving only a miniscule amount for actual hockey fans.

Part of the problem is the league “limited” the number of tickets a single individual could purchase to 50 (on the theory entire youth teams could sit together), but there's a bigger issue at play here.

At major events such as this, the league ought to be employing every effort to ensure its regular customers aren't shafted by small-time opportunists interested solely in a quick cash turnover.

Some may say that, with 42,000 (formerly) available seats to be sold at Ralph Wilson Stadium, policing against scalpers is practically impossible. Well, consider the ticket arrangement the management of Led Zeppelin instituted for the legendary band's reunion show at London's 02 Arena this November.

Not only was there a lottery system – which more than 20 million people entered – to distribute tickets (at a maximum of two seats per fan) for their performance, but the group's management promised to revoke the tickets of anyone caught attempting to re-sell them for profit. Now that's how you reward your biggest fans.

• Speaking of the Sabres/Penguins “Winter Classic,” I'm having a hard time agreeing with some prominent hockey scribes who wonder whether another outdoor game is a case of the league going to the well one too many times.

Fellas, this is only the second one. In four freakin' years. Another Rolling Stones tour this is not.

• Neglected to mention this in Monday's blog, but on behalf of heterosexual men everywhere, I'd like to thank the Los Angeles Kings for hiring ex-Apprentice candidate Heidi Androl as their new special events host and primary on-air personality at

Now, if we can only get Omarosa, Janice Dickinson or Caprice from The Surreal Life to host Coyotes games, they might finally be worth watching.



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