No. 8: Anaheim Ducks

2013 Ultimate Standings

Updated: September 23, 2013, 12:31 PM ET
By Jeff Gold | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 37
Title track: 17
Ownership: 13
Coaching: 34
Players: 37
Fan relations: 24
Affordability: 26
Stadium Experience 40
Bang for the Buck 6

Here's how you get the season off to a good start: offer free hot dogs and soda to every fan who shows up to watch the first day of training camp. Then when practice is over, have the head coach field questions from the audience. That's how the Ducks engendered some positivity on the first day after the frustrating lockout. And once the season began, the Ducks performed well, winning the Pacific Division before a disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs. All of which contributed to the Ducks' coming agonizingly close to winning the "Stanley Cup of franchise rankings," only to be narrowly edged out by the Penguins. Considering Pittsburgh boasts arguably the two best players in the league, that's an impressive feat.

The Ducks -- No. 1 among hockey teams in the bang for the buck category -- are always thinking about entertaining their fans. When Teemu Selanne recently announced he was returning for a 21st season, the Ducks didn't simply send out a press release and go through the standard protocol. Rather, they posted a YouTube video of him struggling on the golf course, then deciding that he wasn't quite ready to hang up the skates. We're waiting to find out what refreshments will be offered to fans who show up to watch him participate in his final training camp.

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