Ultimate Standings: Bruins rank 99th overall

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Boston Bruins

Overall: 99
Title track: 30
Ownership: 82
Coaching: 65
Players: 79
Fan relations: 79
Affordability: 114
Stadium experience: 96
Bang for the buck: 114
Change from last year: -6

Few franchises have fallen further faster than the Bruins, both here and on the ice. Boston won a Stanley Cup five short years ago, then rebounded from a 2014 Stanley Cup loss to win the Presidents' Trophy a year later, when we ranked them a respectable 39th overall. But Boston didn't make the playoffs in 2014-15 and narrowly missed out again last season, dropping the B's to within an inch of triple digits, easily their lowest position since our Ultimate Standings began in 2003.

What's good

The core of that Cup winning team -- captain Zdeno Chara, centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci and skillful pest Brad Marchand -- are still elite NHL performers. And Beantown's demanding public hasn't forgotten its team's storied past -- a 30th-place title track ranking is by far the Bruins' best in this survey. Moreover, the fan base remains confident that the team can get back to the promised land in a hurry under second-year GM Don Sweeney, an ex-Bruin with an economics degree from Harvard, and longtime coach Claude Julien, who kept his job in spite of those postseason misses.

What's bad

The Bruins didn't raise season ticket prices like they did last year, but it still costs a fortune to be a hockey fan in Boston. The average get-in-the-door cost at TD Garden is almost $89, second highest in the NHL and $11 more than any other American team. Parking is an extortionate $42, six times more than Blue Jackets backers pay. Add in the on-ice struggles, and it's easy to see why affordability and bang for the buck (Boston is 114th in both) are among the lowest in professional sports.

What's new

The high overhead and lack of recent success have eroded fan relations, which fell eight spots to 79th. Stadium experience suffered, too, dropping six. It's not all bad news, though. Sweeney rewarded Marchand's career season in 2015-16 by signing the 28-year-old winger to an eight year, $49 million contract extension. He also re-upped young blueliner Torey Krug (four years, $21 million) and added hard-checking former St. Louis Blues captain David Backes as an unrestricted free agent.

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