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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Original Six Dominate List of Most Valuable NHL Teams – With a Surprise at No. 1

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly the most valuable team in the NHL.
  • A recent stake sale valued the club's parent company at $8 billion.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs have overtaken the top spot for individual NHL franchise values, at least by one important metric. A new list from Forbes estimates the Maple Leafs to be worth $2.8 billion, surpassing the $2.65 billion New York Rangers. 

Toronto’s value increase (Forbes says it went up 40% year-over-year) comes thanks, in large part, to a stake sale completed last month by the team’s parent company, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. The entity also owns the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, MLS’s Toronto FC, the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, and Scotiabank Arena. 

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) paid $400 million for an indirect 5% stake in MLSE. (That stake sale had to be approved by the NHL, NBA, MLS, and CFL. It was said to be related to estate planning for the 78-year-old Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of MLSE.)

The Maple Leafs are one of the NHL’s Original Six franchises but haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967. In recent years, the team has made seven consecutive trips to the postseason. Forbes pegged annual revenue around $110 million.

Best Of The Rest

Five of Forbes’s six most valuable teams are members of the Original Six. After Toronto and New York, the Montreal Canadiens ($2.3 billion), Los Angeles Kings ($2 billion) — the non-member here — and Boston Bruins ($1.9 billion) round out the top five. The Chicago Blackhawks ($1.8 billion) are sixth, while the Detroit Red Wings ($1.2 billion) are 15th.

The most recent NHL club to be sold outright, the Ottawa Senators (for a record $950 million), are No. 24 on the Forbes list.

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