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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: September 19, 1:29 PM ET
No. 101: Colorado Avalanche

By Jeff Gold
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 78
Title track: 30
Ownership: 104
Coaching: 120
Players: 97
Fan relations: 107
Affordability: 102
Stadium Experience 100
Bang for the Buck 59

Receive the worst coaching ranking in the NHL? Here's a solution: Hire one of the team's biggest legends to take the helm. That's what the Avalanche did, hiring Patrick Roy in the offseason (after our Ultimate Standings voting). With Joe Sakic in charge of hockey operations, the Avs have clearly turned back to their glory days (Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001) to try to re-establish what was once one of the most successful franchises. No word yet if Peter Forsberg will be joining in some capacity.

In polls, fans resoundingly expressed frustration with the organization. Among NHL teams, Avalanche fans gave the lowest score to "the owners and players show their appreciation to the fans," "the players are accessible to fans" and the team "demonstrates a commitment to winning." Interestingly, although the team has missed the playoffs in four of the past five years, the fans seem somewhat optimistic about the possibility of a championship -- and our voting came before the Avalanche selected Nathan MacKinnon with the first overall pick in the NHL draft. It's conceivable that MacKinnon and young star Matt Duchene could one day be the best one-two center combination in the NHL (well, in the non-Crosby-Malkin category). Quickest way to change attitudes across the board? Win.