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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: September 19, 1:42 PM ET
No. 105: Calgary Flames

By Hallie Grossman
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 106
Title track: 71
Ownership: 74
Coaching: 92
Players: 112
Fan relations: 85
Affordability: 106
Stadium Experience 106
Bang for the Buck 112

Welcome to Dearth Valley. It wasn't so long ago that Alberta was known as hockey's own Death Valley: Opponents skated to their doom in the Calgary-Edmonton corridor, where, in the 1980s, one of the province's two teams reached the Stanley Cup Finals in eight consecutive seasons. Now, there's just a dearth. Of playoff victories: The Flames haven't won a series in eight years. Of defense: Calgary allowed 3.27 goals per game last season, the most in the Western Conference. Of any discernible star power: Longtime captain and perennial 30-goal scorer Jarome Iginla bolted via trade; Miikka Kiprusoff, the winningest goalie in franchise history, retired in the offseason. It's no wonder then that the Flames, well, flamed out, limping in at 105th place overall.

Sure, the team's youth movement looks promising -- Sven Baertschi, their 20-year-old Swiss forward, blazed through his call-up in 2011-12, to the tune of three goals in five games -- but Calgary fans' patience may wear thin, and fast. Flames die-hards are paying a lot for a little, ranking 106th in the affordability and stadium experience categories. But fear not, fair citizens of Calgary -- yours is not even the worst show in the province. The Oilers, after all, clocked in 110th overall.