BUSINESS

NHL’s Most Valuable Teams For 2017: Rangers Rule The Roost

Four teams are now valued at more than $1 billion each.

12/05/2017 16:51 EST | Updated 12/06/2017 09:41 EST
USA Today Sports/Reuters
The New York Rangers is the most valuable team in the NHL.

It's been a good year, financially, for the National Hockey League.

Thanks to strong revenues and bottom lines, the NHL's 31 teams saw their value spike by an average of 15 per cent over the last year, the biggest jump in three years, according to Forbes magazine, which publishes an annual list of the most valuable NHL teams. The average team is now worth US$594 million (C$754 million).

This year's most valuable team, once again, is the New York Rangers, valued at US$1.5 billion (C$1.9 billion), Forbes estimates.

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"Last season, the Rangers had more revenue ($246 million) and operating income ($94 million) than any other hockey team," Forbes reported.

The Rangers have been the most valuable team in the league for three straight years, having unseated the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015. Prior to that, the Leafs had been the NHL's most valuable team for a decade.

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A lower Canadian dollar was partly to blame for Toronto's fall from first place. But Forbes notes that the loonie was back on the rise this year, helping the NHL's seven Canadian teams to a stronger showing in the rankings than they would have otherwise seen. The Leafs' estimated market value jumped by 27 per cent over the past year, to US$1.4 billion, though that wasn't quite enough to leapfrog the Rangers.

Four NHL teams — the Rangers, the Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks — are now estimated to be worth more than US$1 billion. The least valuable team? That would be the Phoenix Coyotes, valued at US$300 million.

Here are the top 10 most valuable NHL teams (all figures in U.S. dollars).

1. New York Rangers

USA Today Sports / Reuters
New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) celebrates scoring the game-winning goal against the Detroit Red Wings during overtime at Madison Square Garden, Nov 24, 2017 in New York.

Value: $1.5 billion (up 20 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $246 million

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

USA Today Sports / Reuters
Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (29) is congratulated by defenseman Andreas Borgman (55) after scoring the game-winning goal against the New Jersey Devils at the Air Canada Centre, Nov 16, 2017 in Toronto.

Value: $1.4 billion (up 27 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $211 million

3. Montreal Canadiens

USA Today Sports / Reuters
Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings with teammate defenseman Jeff Petry (26) during the third period at the Bell Centre, Dec 2, 2017 in Montreal.

Value: $1.25 billion (up 12 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $236 million

4. Chicago Blackhawks

USA Today Sports / Reuters
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Alex DeBrincat (12) is congratulated for scoring his third goal for a hat trick during the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center, Nov 27, 2017 in Chicago.

Value: $1 billion (up 8 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $183 million

5. Boston Bruins

USA Today Sports / Reuters
Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly (52) reacts with defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) and defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) after scoring a goal during the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden, Nov 24, 2017 in Boston.

Value: $890 million (up 11 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $176 million

6. Los Angeles Kings

USA Today Sports / Reuters
Los Angeles Kings right wing Marian Gaborik (12) celebrates with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) after their game against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena, Nov. 30, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Value: $750 million (up 25 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $175 million

7. Philadelphia Flyers

USA Today Sports / Reuters
Philadelphia Flyers center Nolan Patrick (19) celebrates his goal with defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) during the second period against the Calgary Flames at Wells Fargo Center, Nov. 18, 2017 in Philadelphia.

Value: $740 million (up 3 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $170 million

8. Vancouver Canucks

Jeff Vinnick via Getty Images
Anders Nilsson (31) of the Vancouver Canucks congratulates Jacob Markstrom (25) after their NHL game at Rogers Arena Dec. 2, 2017 in Vancouver.

Value: $730 million (up 4 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $156 million

9. Detroit Red Wings

USA Today Sports / Reuters
Detroit Red Wings right wing Anthony Mantha (39) receives congratulations from center Frans Nielsen (51) after scoring in the second period against the Calgary Flames at Little Caesars Arena, Nov. 15, 2017 in Detroit.

Value: $700 million (up 12 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $141 million

10. Pittsburgh Penguins

USA Today Sports / Reuters
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his game winning goal with right wing Patric Hornqvist (72) and defenseman Kris Letang (58) against the Philadelphia Flyers at PPG PAINTS Arena, Nov. 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh.

Value: $650 million (up 14 per cent in the past year)

Revenue: $196 million

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