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The Red Wings stay the same

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – For the third time in the last four years, the Red Wings have been recognized as the NHL’s top franchise.

The Hockey News cited the Red Wings ability to prosper despite some rough years in a region of the country that has been decimated by the crash of the automotive industry.

Using nine different categories to determine their annual franchise rankings, THN says the statistics are “largely on objective, statistical factors that take into account both past and present performance and the Wings are still the best.”

The Wings received high marks in four categories: for front office continuity, regular season success, playoff performance, and strong ownership. In all, the Wings received 131.7 out of a possible 239 points. Pittsburgh (120.7) and Buffalo (114.4) finished second and third, respectively.

As for the Wings’ Central Division rivals, lagged far behind Hockeytown, with the Chicago Blackhawks (106.4) checking in at No. 6, Nashville (91.3) at No. 13, Columbus (61.1) at No. 25, and St. Louis (54.7) at No. 27.

Other measureable categories in THN’s franchise rankings examined the quality of future prospects; the success of NHL drafts between 2001-05; franchise value based on Forbes magazine’s annual sports franchise study; 2010-11 team standings; and attendance over the past five years.

The logic behind the draft success category was that by now, players selected between 2001-05 have separated themselves as either full-time NHL players or minor leaguers. In the Wings case, they drafted 42 players in the five year period with nine of them being NHL regulars – Jiri Hudler, Valtteri Filppula, Derek Meech, Jonathan Ericsson, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Jakub Kindl, Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm – for at least one season.

Ken Campbell, senior writer at THN, wrote, “That the Detroit Red Wings have managed to stay at the top of the league through some of the worst times the city has ever seen is a testament to how well they’ve been run. NHL superstars and Stanley Cup championships are no longer rolling off the Red Wings assembly line the way vehicles are at GM, Ford and Chrysler, but the Red Wings remain the class of the league.” 
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