No. 119: New York Islanders

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 7, 2012, 12:03 PM ET
By Doug Mittler | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 114
Title track: 98
Ownership: 119
Coaching: 119
Players: 101
Fan relations: 104
Affordability: 96
Stadium experience: 122
Bang for the buck: 81

The certainties of life are death, taxes and, in the case of our ultimate standings, the Islanders finishing dead last in stadium experience. Nassau Coliseum, which looks a lot older than its 40 years, ranks 122nd for the fourth straight season, a main reason the Islanders have had a triple-digit overall ranking every year since 2009. The old barn -- 16,234-seat capacity, second-smallest in the NHL -- does offer some great vantage points, but forget about modern amenities. "It's a cool place when it's crowded, but if you have to take a leak, you'll miss the first 10 minutes of the next period," says longtime Isles fan Jim Loesch, who attends about 20 games a season. A referendum to build a new arena was soundly defeated last summer, and owner Charles Wang says the team will not stay in the current facility past 2015, when his lease expires. Wang's threats of relocation no doubt contribute to another dismal ownership ranking this year, though it doesn't help that the team hasn't sniffed the playoffs in five years. The Isles are currently promoting a preseason game in Brooklyn, leading to talk that Barclays Center could be a future home for the franchise. "That just wouldn't be the same," Loesch says. "They would need a new uniform. They would have a whole new identity." And the problem is?

Doug Mittler

Rumor Central