Forbes' most valuable NHL franchises: Maple Leafs pass Canadiens, still chasing No. 1 Rangers

For the third consecutive year, the New York Rangers rank as the most valuable franchise in the National Hockey League, according to Forbes, but the big story takes place north of the border where the Toronto Maple Leafs passed the Montreal Canadiens to become the league’s second most valuable franchise in 2017.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Leafs, struck the most lucrative arena naming rights deal in the NHL in the past year, providing the boost needed to pass the Canadiens. Scotiabank agreed to pay MLSE $640 million over the next 20 years in the deal. Forbes values the Maple Leafs at $1.4 billion, slightly ahead of the Canadiens who are valued at $1.25 billion.

The Rangers, whose valuation jumped 20 percent from 2016, sit atop the Forbes list at $1.5 billion. According to the respected business magazine, the Rangers generated $246 million in revenue, most in the league. Their operating revenue of $94 million also topped every other team in the NHL.

The Top Five rounds out with the Chicago Blackhawks ($1 billion) and Boston Bruins ($890 million), meaning five of the league’s esteemed Original Six franchises held the top spots on the Forbes list. The other Original Six franchise, the Detroit Red Wings, rank ninth at $700 million. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins are right behind, ranked tenth at $650 million.

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The least valuable franchise is the Arizona Coyotes, with a valuation of $300 million.

In Canada, the Vancouver Canucks also landed in the Top Ten, ranking eighth at $730 million.

Here are the values of all 31 NHL teams in 2017, according to Forbes:

New York Rangers $1.5 Billion
Toronto Maple Leafs $1.4 Billion
Montreal Canadiens $1.25 Billion
Chicago Blackhawks $1 Billion
Boston Bruins $890 Million
Los Angeles Kings $750 Million
Philadelphia Flyers $740 Million
Vancouver Canucks $730 Million
Detroit Red Wings $700 Million
Pittsburgh Penguins $650 Million
Washington Capitals $625 Million
Edmonton Oilers $520 Million
Dallas Stars $515 Million
Vegas Golden Knights $500 Million
San Jose Sharks $490 Million
Anaheim Ducks $460 Million
St. Louis Blues $450 Million
Minnesota Wild $440 Million
Calgary Flames $430 Million
Ottawa Senators $420 Million
New Jersey Devils $400 Million
New York Islanders $395 Million
Tampa Bay Lightning $390 Million
Colorado Avalanche $385 Million
Nashville Predators $380 Million
Winnipeg Jets $375 Million
Carolina Hurricanes $370 Million
Buffalo Sabres $350 Million
Columbus Blue Jackets $315 Million
Florida Panthers $305 Million
Arizona Coyotes $300 Million

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