No. 40: New Jersey Devils

2013 Ultimate Standings

Updated: September 23, 2013, 12:31 PM ET
By Ben Arledge | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 13
Title track: 20
Ownership: 58
Coaching: 57
Players: 43
Fan relations: 31
Affordability: 50
Stadium experience: 33
Bang for the buck: 57

The Devils are undoubtedly a different team this season. The disappointment of seeing high scorer David Clarkson (Toronto Maple Leafs) and perennial All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk (KHL) walk in the offseason was coupled with the forward-looking landing of Cory Schneider as the heir to the Jersey net. Although Scott Robb of blog Running With The Devils eagerly called the trade of the ninth overall draft pick for Schneider "one of the highway-robbery type," the Devils still saw a 30-place drop in the players category. Perhaps that number will rebound after the Devils locked up Ryane Clowe and Jaromir Jagr, adding more firepower up front to play with Patrik Elias, Stephen Gionta, Travis Zajac and Steve Bernier.

Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris is another new face at the Prudential Center, after he recently purchased (saved) the Devils for $320 million. He has expressed a serious dedication to winning and will continue allowing Lou Lamoriello to make all hockey-related decisions, as he has done so well for 26 years. After all, New Jersey has hoisted three Stanley Cups in the past 20 years and made their fifth trip to the finals two seasons ago. Missing the playoffs last season caused the Devils to drop nine places in title track, but that hasn't totally dissuaded face-painted fans like David Puddy to come out to ... you know, support the team.

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