Rangers are NHL's most valuable team again in annual Forbes rankings

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Nick Holden #22 of the New York Rangers (R) celebrates his goal at 9:13 of the second period against the Carolina Hurricanes and is joined by Jimmy Vesey #26 (L) at Madison Square Garden on November 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nick Holden of the New York Rangers celebrates with Jimmy Vesey after scoring against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 29, 2016, in New York City. (Getty)

For the second straight year the New York Rangers are the NHL’s most valuable franchise.

Forbes annual NHL team valuations puts the Rangers as the NHL’s most valued organization, currently listed at $1.25 billion, which is up from $1.2 billion last season. The Montreal Canadiens stayed at No. 2 ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs in part because the Habs brought in the most operating income. Both the Canadiens and Maple Leafs missed the playoffs last year. The Maple Leafs held the top spot from 2006 until last season.

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Forbes said that the average NHL team worth went up to $517 million, three percent higher than last year.

For the second consecutive season the New York Rangers are the most valuable team, worth $1.25 billion. The Blueshirts led the league in revenue ($219 million) and were second in operating income ($74.5 million). The Montreal Canadiens usurped the Toronto Maple Leafs as the NHL’s second most valuable team. Montreal raked in the most operating income in the league ($76.9 million) during 2015-16 and are now worth $1.12 billion, $20 million more than Toronto.

  1. New York Rangers, $1.25 billion

  2. Montreal Canadiens, $1.12 billion

  3. Toronto Maple Leafs, $1.1 billion

  4. Chicago Blackhawks, $925 million

  5. Boston Bruins, $800 million

  6. Philadelphia Flyers, $720 million

  7. Vancouver Canucks, $700 million

  8. Detroit Red Wings, $625 million

  9. Los Angeles Kings, $600 million

  10. Washington Capitals, $575 million

  11. Pittsburgh Penguins, $570 million

  12. Dallas Stars, $500 million

  13. San Jose Sharks, $470 million

  14. Edmonton Oilers, $445 million

  15. Anaheim Ducks, $415 million

  16. Calgary Flames, $410 million

  17. Minnesota Wild, $400 million

  18. New York Islanders, $385 million

  19. Colorado Avalanche, $360 million

  20. Ottawa Senators, $355 million

  21. Winnipeg Jets, $340 million

  22. New Jersey Devils, $320 million

  23. St. Louis Blues, $310 million.

  24. Tampa Bay Lightning, $305 million

  25. Buffalo Sabres, $300 million

  26. Nashville Predators, $270 million

  27. Columbus Blue Jackets, $245 million

  28. Arizona Coyotes, $240 million

  29. Florida Panthers, $235 million

  30. Carolina Hurricanes, $230 million

Forbes noted that Canadian dollar continues to be an issue that plagues the NHL and all Canadian teams saw drops in their values.

Another challenge to profitability is specific to the seven Canadian teams: the collapse of the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar. The exchange rate of $1 Canadian equal to U.S. 0.75 for the 2015-16 season hurts the teams North of the Border because they collect a big chunk of their revenue in local currency and pay players in greenbacks.

The Pittsburgh Penguins saw just a 2 percent increase in value up to $570 million after their run to the Stanley Cup. Forbes points out that even though owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle have been unable to sell the team for a much higher price, “The Penguins symbolize what is possible in the NHL–an elite, midsize market team that is highly profitable. Increased profitability is the theme for the NHL.”

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Despite the Canadian dollar issues Forbes says the NHL has a lot of positive business markers, such as their deal with MLB Advanced Media from two summers ago, and the $500 million expansion fee the league received for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Here is our blog of last year’s rankings.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!