No. 82: Florida Panthers

2013 Ultimate Standings

Updated: September 23, 2013, 3:05 PM ET
By Jeff Gold | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 33
Title track: 104
Ownership: 94
Coaching: 76
Players: 79
Fan relations: 63
Affordability: 45
Stadium Experience 83
Bang for the Buck 111

In some respects, the almost 50-spot drop seems unfair to the Panthers, who came up with one of the great season-ticket plans in history during the strike-shortened season: $173 for season tickets, parking passes and a jersey. Don't believe us? Read about it here in a phenomenal piece about the experience of a fan from Vancouver, who decided he wanted to be a season-ticket holder and bought tickets even though he lived 3,500 miles away and likely couldn't attend any games. (http://www.cavemag.com/my-year-as-a-florida-panthers-season-ticket-holder/).

Bottom line, there's no real mystery to what happened with the attitude of Panthers fans toward the team. The Panthers had an abysmal year just one season after being a pleasant surprise. In 2011-12 they made the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and expectations were naturally higher. In 2012-13 the Panthers had the worst record in the NHL, and they suffered their biggest drop in bang for the buck, going from 62 last year to 111 this year. But here's the good news: When you've got low expectations, there's nowhere to go but up. Or maybe south.

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