You want to know what the issue with the NHL is? I'll tell ya--it's the fact that nobody in that league is hungry or tired anymore. You walk into that league as an 18 or 19-year-old and you're signing a contract for $925K. You're flying private, you have team chefs preparing world class meals before and after all your games, you're living the dream. Good times create soft men.
Then you get down to the Federal Prospects Hockey League. You walk into that league as a 27-year-old and you get a game check for a couple hundred bucks. You're crammed up on a coach bus from the early 90's on your way to games and the AC is busted. Your meal prep involves a McDonald's or Burger King or whatever is available at the rest stop the boys stop at on the way to the game. Your coach is in the middle of getting his 3rd divorce. You all pull together your per diem money to grab a few cases of Miller Lite for the locker room. Chances are there are a few STDs running rampant through said locker room with the whole roster fishing in the same pond. Moral of the story is that everybody is one minor incident away from completely snapping and going on a murderous rampage. Which is exactly what we got on display in this game between the Carolina Thunderbirds and Watertown Wolves over the weekend.
You've got goalies jumping goalies.
Coaches getting into it with trainers while trying to take down the partition between the benches.
Water bottles being launched like grenades between the two benches. The only thing this melee was missing was a fan vs player fight in the penalty box. And after the game I bet everybody ended up at the same bar and got obliterated together. Because that's what olde time hockey is all about. None of this "let's just talk about our feelings while we're counting up all our money" nonsense we see in the NHL these days.
P.S. -- Looks like the Carolina Thunderbirds have made a coaching change since a few years ago.