For the fourth straight year, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the NHL's most valuable franchise estimated to be worth $470 million dollars - an increase of 5% from last year. But As the numbers break down, the report shows that the top valued hockey franchises are the "original 6" with the Philadelphia Flyers included in the top 5.
What is most likely going to be fodder for the Bettman-haters and hockey snobs, the report also stressed that 14 NHL teams have lost value, most notably Colorado Avalanche who are down 11%.
Forbes suggests surprise that the NHL was able to show such improvements despite the status as #4 major sports leagues in North America and while the economy is struggling.
So leave it to the National Hockey League to have its most profitable year smack in the middle of a recession. During the 2008-09 campaign, the league posted an average operating profit (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $6.1 million, the highest figure in the 12 years Forbes has been tracking the league's financesSo, perhaps the NHL has something to hang their helmets on despite the smear campaign by critics and those associated with RIM CEO Jim Balsillie.
The Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly worth $222 million dollars and rank 11th of the NHL teams. Their rival Washington Capitals have also reported a huge gain in value to 183 million dollars as a 15% increase from last year.
[Via: Forbes and Yahoo! Sports]