Blackhawks become fourth NHL franchise to reach $1 billion value

Charlie Roumeliotis
NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks are the fourth NHL franchise to be valued at $1 billion or more, according to Forbes' annual "The Business of Hockey" report, joining the New York Rangers ($1.5 billion), Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.4 billion) and Montreal Canadiens ($1.25 billion).

Last year, Chicago was valued at $925 million, showing an eight percent increase. The Boston Bruins are next in line, valued at $890 million after an 11 percent increase from last year.

It also helps that the Blackhawks have two of the most marketable NHL players in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of whom finished in the top 3 once again as the highest-paid players in the league when you factor in their earnings off the ice as well.

Toews came in at No. 1 with $16 million of total earnings, $2.2 million of which have come off endorsements.

Kane ranks third with $14.8 million of total earnings, and $1 million coming off endorsements. He also had the second-best selling jersey last season a year after becoming the first American-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the top scorer and Hart Trophy as the league MVP.

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