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Last year's ranking: 41
Title track: 33
Fan relations: 44
Stadium experience: 48
Bang for the buck: 57
Remember that 2006 Stanley Cup championship? Well, that was nine long years ago, and all the Hurricanes have to show for it since is a solo postseason trip. After a seventh-place finish in the competitive Metropolitan Division, Carolina tumbled 22 spots in our overall rankings. The team has new leadership in place, hiring Bill Peters for his first NHL head coaching job and Canes legend Ron Francis as its new general manager. But that's pretty much it for the changes. Francis suggested that the Hurricanes have "good pieces in place," but the fan rankings beg to differ -- Carolina's roster came in at 109. It seems the allure of acquiring Eric Staal's brother, Jordan, and bringing back Alexander Semin during the 2012 offseason has worn off. Goalie Cam Ward had an abysmal season and more injuries, leaving Anton Khudobin as the apparent starting netminder, and Jeff Skinner's 33 tallies couldn't keep the Canes above the bottom third of the league in goals per game.
The good news? You won't have to dip into the kids' college funds to go to a game. Despite a 7.9 percent rise in cost from last season, the Canes still rank among the NHL's top 10 in cheapest average cost per game ($69.61). Plus, Carolina keeps things fun with events like the Canes Cool Bars. Throughout the season, Carolina Ale House hosts broadcasts of the game with contests, raffles, a silent auction and a drop-by from Stormy, the Hurricanes' mascot. If Skinner, the Staals and Khudobin put it all together this year, the storm clouds could clear, and everyone attending those Canes Cool Bar events will have some wins to enjoy.