No. 47: Dallas Stars

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 7, 2012, 12:12 PM ET
By Eddie Matz | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 46
Title track: 39
Ownership: 81
Coaching: 91
Players: 73
Fan relations: 60
Affordability: 34
Stadium experience: 75
Bang for the buck: 26

If the Metroplex is a tale of two cities, the Stars are a tale of two Toms. In recent years under cash-strapped owner Tom Hicks, fans worried about their team reaching the salary-cap floor. Under new proprietor Tom Gaglardi, who bought the team last November for $267 million and whose family's hotel/restaurant empire is worth an estimated $1.6 billion, Dallas puckheads are breathing a little easier, especially after watching their team ink big-bucks FAs like Jaromir Jagr (one year, $4.5 million) and Ray Whitney (two years, $9 million). While signing two of the league's oldest players might not necessarily translate into more wins, it's already upped the buzz factor for a fan base that hasn't tasted the postseason since 2007-08. Says DefendingBigD.com user Kanooonoo: "Even if this sucks in the end, I'm legitimately more excited for this season. Be damned if I don't get a Jagr sweater." Kanooonoo won't be the only one buying Stars gear, what with all the money Gaglardi saved fans last year when he slashed ticket prices to 9 bucks. The discount's downside is that it made it even easier for folks to witness the team's anemic power play (13.5 percent, tied for last in the NHL) under anonymous rookie coach Glen Gulutzan. That's one tale that Stars fans are hoping doesn't get retold.