* Those “experts” who claimed that the NHL should beware of staging too many outdoor games never bothered to consult with sponsors.
* The lineup of NHL teams practically begging for games such as the Bronx-Stadium Series goes all the way around the corner.
* First in line is Denver, mostly because the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series is sponsored by the Colorado-based brewery. Coors won’t ever allow as cash cow leave its meadow.
* If you can believe this, even Phoenix has jumped on the outdoor band wagon that also features Toronto and at least a half-dozen other venues.
* The Senators are after either Ales Hemsky or Matt Moulson. My pick would be Moulson but you can bet that the Sabres would love to retain Double M.
* Say this for Matty, when he left Long Island — and his buddy-linemate John Tavares — Moulson neither whined nor pewled. He merely took his skates and stick and has since given the Sabres full-value for their pick.
* Martin Brodeur is talking publicly to the media — as he always has — and signals are that Mister Goalie is aware that he could be traded.
* Marty has been the Devil so long that there’s little doubt that — if it ever comes to a deal — Lou Lamoriello will accommodate him in terms of a future team.
* Purely for sentimental reasons — Brodeur, a French-Canadian who grew up in francophone Montreal — the Canadiens would appear to be the logical place for Marty to re-surface.
* Then again, who says that there’s logic in hockey?
* My thinking is that Brodeur could be appealing to a Western team, namely Vancouver.
* Because the Winter Olympics are in Sochi, the pressure on the Russian stickhandlers is more intense than ever.
* And if you don’t believe it, ask Pavel Datsyuk. “The pressure,” says the evergreen Red Wing, “is enormous and it’s growing every day.
* By the way, if you don’t believe Datsyuk, try President Putin. Better still, check out his mug.
* I expect both Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi to work out a deal that’s sensible to the Rangers and to themselves.
* But if Dan and Ryan let their agents dictate terms unfavorable to management either of them could go bye-bye; and it won’t be Glen Sather’s fault.
* Check out the Brandon Prust saga and you’ll know what I mean.
* Speaking of Prust, despite all the fuss created by Brandon’s New York media buddies, there’s no question that the Rangers are thriving without him.
* The reason for that is simply Dan Carcillo.
* Minnesota’s Boys’ State Hockey Tournament is the most watched high school sporting event in the country.
* That’s why it deserves to have one of the best hockey play-by-play announcers — namely my buddy Gary Thorne — doing the game alongside North Stars legend Lou Nanne.
* Vinny Prospal’s “official” retirement is greeted with sadness among the NHL media types. No matter where he played, Vin was a delightful, forthright interview.
* Some thoughtful NHL club would do well to hire Prospal merely to teach young players the proper way to handle the press.
* It’s noteworthy that Vinny went out of his way to single out one individual in his farewell statement and that is John Tortorella.
* Prospal, among other neat things he has to say about Torts, calls the coach “one of the most influential people in my life.”
* When Gary Bettman proves there’s parity in the NHL he’s talking about the Metropolitan Division.