- Ben Arledge, ESPN Contributor
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Last year's rank: 14
Title track: 73
Fan relations: 11
Stadium experience: 13
Bang for the buck: 92
With prices below the league average, a likable roster, one of the best goaltenders in Pekka Rinne and a guy like defenseman Seth Jones coming out of the draft, the only thing holding the Preds back from ranking higher this year is ... well, winning. After three straight seasons of playoff participation and a title almost within reach, Nashville managed just 16 wins in the 2013 shortened season and saw their Bang for the Buck ranking fall 70 spots this season. David Legwand was the team's highest scorer with just 12 tallies and the Predators finished tied for last in the league in goals scored. If it wasn't for more fantastic play from Rinne between the pipes, they could have been even worse.
On the upside, Nashville keeps its fans happy and wants to ensure they're not outnumbered in Bridgestone Arena. This season, the Nashville brass is instating the "Keep the Red Out" campaign, requiring fans purchasing tickets to home games against Chicago to purchase tickets to another Chicago home game as well. With so many Blackhawks fans making the trip to Nashville each season, VP of hockey communications Gerry Helper says that it is necessary to "give our team the best home-ice advantage each and every game." Sure, Chi-town fans are ticked off, but maybe it will help the Predators beat a team they went 0-4-1 against last season. And if not, nothing masks the bitter taste of defeat like bacon on a stick. Mmmm, bacon.
13hMarc Stein and Ramona Shelburne