Leafs fall from top spot on Forbes list of NHL team values
Toronto had been NHL's most valuable team since 2006
The Toronto Maple Leafs are no longer considered the NHL's most valuable team — or even the most valuable of the league's Canadian-based clubs.
Both the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens have overtaken Toronto in Forbes's annual ranking of NHL franchise values.
The Rangers are worth $1.2 billion US, according to Forbes, followed by the Canadiens at $1.18 billion and the Leafs at $1.15 billion.
Toronto had held the top spot every year since 2006, but the Rangers cashed in on renovations to their arena, Madison Square Garden, while the Canadiens' value rose 18 per cent from last year on the strength of a lucrative new local television rights deal.
Poor on-ice performance combined with a weaker Canadian dollar were cited by Forbes as reasons for the Leafs' decline in value from $1.3 billion last year.
The Chicago Blackhawks ($930 million) and the Boston Bruins ($750 million) rounded out the top five, followed by the Vancouver Canucks ($750 million) in sixth place.
The Edmonton Oilers ($460 million) placed 12th, the Calgary Flames ($440 million) were 15th, the Ottawa Senators ($370 million) were 18th and the Winnipeg Jets ($350 million) were 20th.
With a valuation of $190 million, the Florida Panthers were ranked by Forbes as the least valuable of the 30 NHL franchises.