11/25/2013 03:19 EST | Updated 11/25/2013 03:32 EST

Most Valuable NHL Teams: Toronto Tops, Canadian Teams Dominate


A Canadian team may not have won the Stanley Cup in 20 years, but Canadian teams dominate the league all the same when it comes to money.

Three of the five most valuable teams in the NHL are Canadian, Forbes magazine reported Monday in its annual ranking of NHL franchises. It’s the first time that has happened since Forbes started measuring the value of NHL teams 15 years ago.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are once again the most valuable team in the NHL, Forbes said, with a market value of $1.15 billion U.S., the only team worth more than $1 billion.

“Every Canadian franchise ranks among the top 16 in the 30-team league,” Forbes reported.

“Hockey isn’t a religion in Canada. It is the religion. This passion delivers at the turnstiles — regardless of market size.”

Forbes notes that Canadian teams charge the most for tickets. Toronto came in first among all NHL teams with an average ticket price of $120, followed by Montreal ($99), Winnipeg ($95), Vancouver ($90) and Edmonton ($79).

“Ticket revenues in the NHL are the Mother’s Milk of profits because the home team keeps 100 per cent of the gate,” Forbes notes.

Canada’s dominance on the new list is largely thanks to the Vancouver Canucks, who shot up from seventh place on the list last year to fourth place. The team more than doubled its market value in the past year — to $700 million, from $342 million in 2012, perhaps proving the value of making it to the Stanley Cup finals.

But other NHL teams have also seen their values soar. The average NHL team is worth $413 million U.S., Forbes reported — a 46-per-cent jump from last year.

Check out the NHL’s most valuable teams.

Photo gallery Most Valuable NHL Teams 2013 See Gallery