For the fourth straight year, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the NHL's most valuable team, according to Forbes magazine's annual survey.
The Leafs are worth $470 million (U.S.), an increase of 5 per cent over last year. They easily are worth more than the next franchise, the New York Rangers at $416 million, up just 1 per cent. Yes just another example of how the rich get richer. No stimulus money needed at MLSE.
Chicago has the biggest rise in value, up 26 per cent, followed by Washington at 15 percent to $183 million. A sudden rise in the standing affects the bottom line (except if you own the Leafs).
The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins rank 11th at $222 million.
The average value of the 30 teams is $223 million, a slight increase over the $220 million of 2008.
Not surprisingly, the Phoenix Coyotes, with all their ownership issues, have the lowest worth, $138 million. And 14 teams – nearly half the league – went down in value, ranging from Colorado decreasing by 11 percent to Philadelphia falling 1 percent.Toronto has, by far, the most operating income, $78.9 million, Forbes reported. Second in operating income is Montreal at $31.3 million. Less than half the Leafs' income.
The Leafs are tops in revenues, too, at $168 million, followed by the Rangers at $139 million.
See the full list here.