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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:34 PM ET
No. 76: New York Rangers

By Ben Arledge
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 63
Title track: 46
Ownership: 63
Coaching: 50
Players: 48
Fan relations: 51
Affordability: 117
Stadium Experience 72
Bang for the Buck 79

With Madison Square Garden's reported $968 million renovations nearly complete and a new coach in Alain Vigneault behind the bench, maybe the Broadway Blueshirts can put last year's underachieving season behind them. The Rangers went to work in the offseason locking up Carl Hagelin and Ryan McDonagh, shoring up more youth alongside Derek Stepan (once he signs, as expected) and Ryan Callahan. While the team shipped Marian Gaborik's hefty contract to Columbus late last season, it decided to keep Brad Richards against the widely held belief that his contract would be bought out. Vigneault has a history of getting the most out of his stars, which is perhaps the motivation Richards, Rick Nash and last season's horrendous power play unit need. And the really good news? Contract talks with Henrik Lundqvist, widely viewed as the best netminder in the game, have been positive so far.

The team should win more often this year, which will make trash-talk at the water cooler easier -- but it won't be easy on fans' wallets. At an average cost per game north of $100, seeing the Rangers play costs more than any other American NHL team. Of course, fans willing to brave the January weather at Yankee Stadium for the two Coors Light Stadium Series games will have to dish out even more. Our suggestion: Watch this talented team make a run this season from your couch. After all, New York scored 10th highest in the NHL in enjoyable television/radio/Internet broadcasts. And the beer is cheap there!