(Reuters) – The New York Rangers, valued at $1.25 billion, were ranked as the National Hockey League’s most valuable franchise for the second consecutive year, according to Forbes’ list released on Wednesday.
The Montreal Canadiens, worth $1.12 billion, took second spot for the second straight year and the Toronto Maple Leafs, rated the most valuable franchise from 2005-14, were third with a value of $1.1 billion, Forbes said.
The Chicago Blackhawks ($925,000) and Boston Bruins ($800,000) rounded out the top five.
The average team among the league’s 30 franchises was worth $517 million, a 3 percent increase from 2015, which also produced a 3 percent rise.
The primary reasons for the overall profitability are that the 2014-15 season was the first with the league’s lower (relative to revenue) salary cap and a 12-year media deal worth nearly $4 billion signed with Rogers Communications.
NHL profits were concentrated in a handful of teams with the Rangers, Canadiens and Maple Leafs having operating income of $219 million combined during the 2015-16 season, or half of the league’s total operating income, the report said.
For the complete list visit: (www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations)
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Ed Osmond)