I basically lived at Hara Arena as a teenager, playing hockey any day… or any time (I slept in the original Gems locker room during the blizzard of 1979). It was surreal going there to watch hockey again.
The quality of the IHL hockey was pretty decent. The Gems have at least 6 players from the ECHL and I would say the level of play is comparable. On the other hand, the officiating was fairly poor. I haven’t seen so many players hooked since the NHL decided to clamp down on all the ticky tack interference slowing down play.
The team owners are still learning, but they appear to be trying to put together a reasonable product. They’ve got to put the player’s names on the jerseys; they have to reduce the “entertainment time” between periods; and they have to print up a game roster in jersey-number order.