According to Forbes, the New York Rangers have leapfrogged over the Toronto Maple Leafs to head the list as the most valuable franchise in the NHL.
The Rangers are now worth $1.2 billion, after a 9% ascent last year; the Leafs dropped 12% to rate a value of $1.15 billion, leaving them in third place behind the Montreal Canadiens, which rose to a value of $1.18 billion because of a $60 million TV deal with RDS. Forbes listed the Chicago Blackhawks at fourth, valued at $930 million, and the Boston Bruins fifth, at $750 million.
According to Forbes:
The Rangers generated the most revenue ($229 million) in the league during the 2014-15 season, cashing in on the $1 billion renovation of Madison Square Garden and drives to the Stanley Cup finals in 2014 and Eastern Conference Finals in 2015. The Rangers took in more than $95 million from premium seating and advertising at MSG last season, tops in the NHL.
The Leafs had been the most highly-valued team in the NHL since 2006, but Forbes claimed their poor teams and a weaker Canadian currency contributed to their decline. Last March the Leafs had their first game that was not a sellout since 2002.
The seven teams whose value plummeted the most reside in Canada. The Florida Panthers brought up the rear, with a value of $186 million.
Compared to NFL teams, the NHL teams are worth a pittance; the Dallas Cowboys are worth $4 billion, followed by the New England Patriots at $3.2 billion. The least valuable NFL team, the Buffalo Bills, valued at $1.4 billion, comes in higher than the most valuable NHL franchise.