May 8, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Nick Bonino (far left) celebrates with defenseman Cam Fowler (4), left wing Matt Beleskey (39) and right wing Teemu Selanne (8) his game winning goal against the Detroit Red Wings following the overtime period period in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN the Magazine's Ultimate Team Rankings; Anaheim Ducks 8th Overall, 2nd in NHL

ESPN the Magazine has released their annual Ultimate Team Rankings and the Anaheim Ducks have come in among the best in the NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA combined. Based off of categories such as bang for the buck, fan relations, ownership, affordability, stadium experience, players, coaching, and title track, the Anaheim Ducks have come in 8th overall and 2nd among NHL franchises. Here is the overall top 10:

  1. Memphis Grizzlies
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Indiana Pacers
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder
  5. Green Bay Packers
  6. Arizona Diamondbacks
  7. Pittsburgh Penguins
  8. Anaheim Ducks
  9. Ottawa Senators
  10. Baltimore Ravens

ESPN the Mag did a small report for each franchise and here is their report on the Ducks:

No. 8: Anaheim Ducks
Last year’s rank: 37
Title track: 17
Ownership: 13
Coaching: 34
Players: 37
Fan relations: 24
Affordability: 26
Stadium Experience 40
Bang for the Buck 6

Here’s how you get the season off to a good start: offer free hot dogs and soda to every fan who shows up to watch the first day of training camp. Then when practice is over, have the head coach field questions from the audience. That’s how the Ducks engendered some positivity on the first day after the frustrating lockout. And once the season began, the Ducks performed well, winning the Pacific Division before a disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs. All of which contributed to the Ducks’ coming agonizingly close to winning the “Stanley Cup of franchise rankings,” only to be narrowly edged out by the Penguins. Considering Pittsburgh boasts arguably the two best players in the league, that’s an impressive feat.

The Ducks — No. 1 among hockey teams in the bang for the buck category — are always thinking about entertaining their fans. When Teemu Selanne recently announced he was returning for a 21st season, the Ducks didn’t simply send out a press release and go through the standard protocol. Rather, they posted a YouTube video of him struggling on the golf course, then deciding that he wasn’t quite ready to hang up the skates. We’re waiting to find out what refreshments will be offered to fans who show up to watch him participate in his final training camp.

It’s nice to here some good things said about this franchise every now and then from people outside of the SoCal area. But, then again, it’s ESPN. Who I have come to very much dislike over the past few years. I also hate the NBA and think that league is a complete joke, so I don’t like how there are so many NBA organizations ranked so high. Then, there are the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’ve lived in southeastern Pennsylvania for about 15 years now and I now go to Penn State University. So, besides being a Flyers fan, I loathe with a passion the Pittsburgh Penguins. To me, that fanbase is a complete and utter joke. It’s a franchise that almost left the city twice because nobody would ever show up to any games. They had to be rescued twice by Mario Lemieux. Now, they’re the NHL’s god-child. But anyway, this is supposed to be a happy article. But, it’s done by ESPN? Well, not really! These results are from surveys filled out by fans all over the country! So there is something I can be happy with, yay! This is the 3rd time since 2007 that the Ducks have been ranked in the top two among all NHL teams in these rankings and the sixth time in the last seven years that the Ducks have been in the top 8 overall.

Oh and there is regular season hockey NEXT WEEK.

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Team Rankings NHL

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