FILE PHOTO: Dec 2, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Winnipeg Jets center Jack Roslovic (28) celebrates his goal with Winnipeg Jets against the New York Rangers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – The New York Rangers are the most valuable National Hockey League franchise for a fourth consecutive year at more than double the league average, according to the annual list here published by business magazine Forbes on Wednesday.
The Rangers, who missed the playoffs last season, are worth $1.55 billion, up 3 percent from last year, Forbes said.
The Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.45 billion), Montreal Canadiens ($1.3 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1 billion) and Boston Bruins ($925 million) rounded out the top five.
The Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals were 10th on the list after their value rose 16 percent to $725 million.
The Vegas Golden Knights, who last season made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final in their debut campaign, are worth $575 million.
Forbes said the average value of the NHL’s 31 teams rose 6 percent during the past year to $630 million, an increase it attributed primarily to a 39 percent jump in the league’s average operating income to a record $25 million last season.
Also boosting the average value of teams was the NHL’s 10-year collective bargaining agreement, which was ratified in 2013 and reduced the players’ share of hockey-related revenue to a 50-50 split with owners from 57 percent.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond