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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
(Editor's Note: Leading up to the 2008 NHL Winter Classic, different Buffalo Sabres will relive their childhood memories of playing hockey outdoors and what their thoughts are on their match-up with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 1.  Click here for more 2008 NHL Winter Classic Information.)

Brian Campbell grew up playing hockey on the outdoor ponds around Strathroy, Ont.  The 28-year-old Sabres captain was drafted by Buffalo in the sixth-round (156th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Here are his thoughts on the 2008 Winter Classic:

"When I was a kid, we used to play pond hockey. I just played back home and actually I played a little bit in junior. In Ottawa, they have a pretty nice outdoor rink so that's probably the last time that I actually skated outside.

"It will be interesting to see how it works out, building the rink in Ralph Wilson Stadiums.  A lot depends on the weather. That's not a simple thing in Buffalo.

"One thing comes to mind when I think of playing this game outdoors.  Cold.

"That pretty much sums it up.

"It’ll be fun though.  I think being outside in the fresh air in front of that size crowd with friends and stuff will be a good time. For us, it will be exciting to have a whole bunch of people supporting us.

"I can honestly say that's this will be a new experience.

"I've only ever played pick-up and shinny outside. No organized stuff, and no body checks for sure.

"The best part about playing outside as a kid was that they never kicked you off the ice.  You could stay there as long as you wanted ...  usually until the lights went down. That was one of the most enjoyable parts.

"The ice itself is always different outdoors compared to indoors. There are always obstacles in your way, whether it’s bumps in the ice or lots of snow. 

"That could always makes this game more interesting."  

Unable to attend the 2008 NHL Winter Classic? 

The Winter Classic House Party presented by BlueCross BlueShield of WNY will feature a pre-game scrimmage at 11:30 a.m. with the Sabres Alumni facing off against members of the Buffalo Police and Fire Departments, followed by a live HDTV broadcast of the Winter Classic on HSBC Arena’s new HD video scoreboard.  Click here for more details | Purchase Tickets
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