Let me rephrase something that I said last post: overall, until it™s April 10, I still prefer the minors for the money, especiallly given that I can watch the Flyers on TV.

And I should certainly include major junior in that preference, which offers much of the same grit (and sloppiness) as bush league, but with big-league talent sprinkled on each roster.

The main difference, I think, is one of emotional temperature. Since the advent of the luxury box/club level/waitress era, lower level NHL fans at a regular season game just aren’t as engaged as people in the cheap seats. Last night’s Staples crowd was fairly feisty, probably because the team is selling all its January tickets, including 100 level spots, for $11.50.

Meanwhile, lower level minor league hockey fans are probably too engaged – from the glass-bangers who pay 20 bucks to the “professional” security guards. From the Flint Journal’s Brendan Savage:

As Flint goaltender Chad Alban was making his way down the ice to exit the ice, he stopped near the scrum of players, took off his mask and had words with Port Huron goalie Larry Sterling.

Alban and Sterling never got a chance to fight and the linesmen quickly got in between them before escorting Alban toward the exit to the dressing rooms.

That’s when the fun started.

According to Alban and several Generals, when Alban got close to the exit behind the Port Huron net, a security guard reached through the door and grabbed Alban, pulling him off the ice.

Bad move.

Alban said he turned and pushed the security guard away, at which point he and several Generals said the security guard punched Alban in the face. Alban did indeed appear to have a welt near his left eye in the dressing room afterward….

No arrests were made but officers told Alban he could press charges against the guard if he wished. Reynolds said Alban declined as long as the guard will be disciplined.

(h/t to Greg Rajan)