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Toronto Maple Leafs is the The Most Valuable Team In The NHL

Toronto Maple Leafs is the The Most Valuable Team In The NHL

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 18, 2015

Fueled by a new Canadian media deal with Rogers Communications that began with the 2014-15 season, the average NHL team value rose 18.6% during the past year, to an all-time high of $490 million. The 12-year, $4.6 billion agreement, which gave Rogers rights to all NHL games in Canada, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, on all of its platforms, in all languages, is worth 2.6 times more annually than the league’s previous Canadian deals.

For the first time the league has three teams worth at least ten digits: the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.3 billion), New York Rangers ($1.1 billion) and Montreal Canadiens ($1 billion). This is the ninth consecutive year the Maple Leafs are the top team.

During the 2013-14 season, the first full campaign under the new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL posted revenue of $3.7 billion, 9.7% more than 2011-12, the league’s previous full season. Over the same span operating income increased 82%, to $453 million, 82% more than two years ago. Credit the CBA agreed to in 2012, which lowered the salary cap to 50% of revenue from 57%, for the rise in profitability. Last season the cap was $64.3 million, the same as it was during the 2011-12 season, despite revenue increasing $326 million.

The Rogers media deal notwithstanding, the NHL remains the most tribal of the four major North American team sports because the NBA, NFL and MLB have much bigger equally shared national media and sponsorship deals. The Maple Leafs, Rangers and Canadiens have the three richest local television deals (Montreal has a new deal that begins this season for an average of just under $70 million annually) and are also among the most expensive tickets in the league. The bifurcation in the league’s profitability becomes more apparent when you consider that the six  most valuable teams–adding the Chicago Blackhawks ($825 million), Vancouver Canucks  ($800 million), Boston Bruins ($750 million)–accounted for $346 million, or 76%, of the NHL’s total operating income during the 2013-14 season.

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

Current Value: $1,300 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $190 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $70.6 mil.

The Air Canada Centre was ranked by Pollstar as the 13th busiest concert venue in the world in 2013 despite limits on concert dates because the arena is shared with the Raptors of the NBA.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

2. New York Rangers

Current Value: $1,100 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $217 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $84.4 mil.

Although the Rangers were defeated in five games by the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup finals, the 12 home games contributed more than $20 million to the team's operating income due to more money from tickets, concessions and sponsorships.

Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images. New York Rangers

3. Montreal Canadiens

Current Value: $1,000 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $187 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $59.8 mil

The Canadiens have sold out the 21,273-seat Bell Centre, which opened in 1996, for every game since January 2004 despite having the second highest ticket prices in the NHL.

Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images. Montreal Canadiens

4. Chicago Blackhawks

Current Value: $825 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $172 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $50.2 mil.

The Blackhawks winning performance on the ice has translated into the highest average attendance into the NHL last season (21,775) and the largest average local television audience (153,000) on CSN Chicago of any U.S. team.

Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

5. Vancouver Canucks

Current Value: $800 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $154 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $46.7 mil.

The Canucks and Sportsnet reached a 10-year partnership extension in 2013 for the Rogers Communications network to continue as the team's regional broadcaster through the 2022-23 season and features a comprehensive suite of multimedia rights including television, online and mobile, delivering up to 60 regular season Canucks games each season.

Jeff Vinnick/NHL via Getty Images. Vancouver Canucks

6. Boston Bruins

Current Value: $750 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $164 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $34.5 mil.

Last season, the Bruins posted the third-highest local television rating in the league (5.0) and the second-highest average television audience (123,000) on NESN, the regional sports network of which they own 20%.

Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Boston Bruins

7. Philadelphia Flyers

Current Value: $625 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $136 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $11.0 mil.

The team had the fourth-highest average attendance (19,839) in the league last season and charges average prices for non-premium ($72) and premium seats ($185) well above the league averages, according to Team Marketing Report.

Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Philadelphia Flyers

8. Los Angeles Kings

Current Value: $580 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $146 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $21.4 mil.

Two Stanley Cups are worth about $100 million in major partnership renewals and new sponsorships during the three months following the Kings triumph over the New York Rangers, according to the SportsBusiness Journal.

Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images. Los Angeles Kings

9. Detroit Red Wings

Current Value: $570 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $134 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $15.2 mil.

Ilitch Holdings, the Ilitch family's holding company that owns the NHL’s Red Wings and MLB’s Detroit Tigers, is scheduled to open a new arena during the summer of 2017, replacing Joe Louis Arena, the oldest arena in the NHL.

Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images. Detroit Red Wings

10. Pittsburgh Penguins

Current Value: $565 mil.

Revenue 2013-2014: $141 mil.

Operating Income 2013-2014: $21.9 mil.

The team is preparing to develop a 28-acre site where the Civic Arena stood, across from the $321 million Consol Energy Center that opened in 2010.

Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images10. Pittsburgh Penguins

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