It’s a good time to be in the business of professional hockey, as Forbes proved with its 19th annual ranking of the league’s most valuable teams.
According to the publication, overall team values rose 15 per cent over the past year, the largest increase in three years, bringing the average team value to $594 million.
Top spot goes to the New York Rangers for the third straight year, valued at a whopping $1.5 billion, with second place going to—you guessed it—the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.4 billion). Two other teams broke the billion-dollar plateau: the Montreal Canadiens ($1.25 billion) and Chicago Blackhawks ($1 billion).
The top five teams on the list are Original Six franchises, with the Bruins ($890M) coming in at No. 5, while all six clubs are in the top 10—the Detroit Red Wings are ninth, at $700 million.
Here are a few other interesting takeaways from the ranking:
* The Vancouver Canucks (No. 8, $730M) were the only other Canadian team to join the Leafs and Habs in the top 10.
* The Winnipeg Jets were ranked as the least valuable Canadian team, worth $375 million for 26th on the overall list.
* Four of Canada’s franchises — Edmonton Oilers (No. 12, $520M), Calgary Flames (No. 19, $430M), Ottawa Senators (No. 20, $420M), and the Jets — came in below the league’s $594-million average team value.
* The least valuable team, according to Forbes? Unsurprisingly, that spot goes to the Arizona Coyotes ($300M).