No. 42: Ottawa Senators

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 7, 2012, 12:10 PM ET
By Scott T. Miller | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 82
Title track: 58
Ownership: 25
Coaching: 21
Players: 46
Fan relations: 32
Affordability: 64
Stadium experience: 93
Bang for the buck: 48

Finally some stability. After going through four coaches in four seasons -- and ranking 117th of 122 teams in coaching last year -- it appears the Senators may have found their man. Paul MacLean was a finalist for coach of the year honors in his first season at the helm and helped Ottawa nearly upset the top-seeded Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. Solidity makes for satisfied fans: The Senators vaulted to 21st overall in coaching and Eugene Melnyk was our fifth-ranked NHL owner. Cheap tickets (below league average), concessions (hot dogs, beer and soda are far cheaper than the competition's) and parking (39 percent less than NHL league average) didn't hurt either. Even when Ottawa was replacing its head coach seemingly every season, the Senators were a draw. The franchise has ranked in the top seven in attendance in five of the eight seasons since Melnyk bought the team in 2003. Don't expect that to change now that there's finally something to see in Ottawa.