The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/23/13 at 01:23 PM ET
As noted earlier today, the Free Press's James Jahnke revealed that the Red Wings (and their "ultimate octopus smuggler") finished 13th overall in ESPN the Magazine's "Ultimate Standings" rankings of sports franchises, and you'll like how I found out that ESPN's "Ultimate Standings" have "gone live" online: the CBC Ottawa's Dan Seguin happened to re-Tweet a note from some guy named Melnyk, whose Senators somehow finished 4 places ahead of the Wings.
Why did Detroit finish behind Ottawa? Detroit's ranked as having the second-best ownership of all professionial sports teams, 5th in terms of "fan relations," 8th in terms of player (likeability), 11th in coaching and 5th in terms of their "title track," but the Senators' artificially low ticket prices gave them a higher "bang for their buck" and "affordability," and the Joe's...Eccentricities...knocked the Wings down significantly.
Here's what ESPN's Hallie Grossman has to say about the Wings (and the Tigers finished 21st, the Pistons 84th and the Lions 111th out of 122):
No. 13: Detroit Red Wings
2013 Ultimate Standings
Last year's rank: 30
Title track: 5
Fan relations: 5
Stadium Experience: 59
Bang for the Buck: 32
The last time Detroit spent a spring without the playoffs, a Bush was in the White House. And we're not talking about W. The Red Wings, owners of the longest active playoff streak in professional sports, secured their 22nd straight postseason berth in the 2012-13 regular-season finale. So it's no shocker that Detroit, once again, cracks the top 10 in title track. (The Red Wings have never fallen below No. 7*.) Breaking news: Fans of the Red Wings, the NHL's model of consistency, continue to be happy with their on-ice product. The Wings ranked first and second among hockey teams for ownership and coaching, respectively. Not to mention that fans like the players. A lot (Detroit was tops in the NHL). "The Red Wings were fantastic -- outplaying their talent threshold all playoffs and creating some really exciting playoff hockey in the process... Thank you, Red Wings, for playing the unlikely underdog role so beautifully," wrote Motor City blogger Bob Biscigliano, after the team's Game 7 loss to the Blackhawks.
Detroit fans will be pleased to see a familiar face come next season -- center Pavel Datsyuk signed a three-year extension -- plus a few unfamiliar ones as well. The Red Wings wasted no time in free agency, reeling in center Stephen Weiss and longtime Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson, two potential impact signings. All that to say Detroit's playoff streak, along with its place in the fans' good graces, seems safe for yet another spring.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.