NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Toronto Maple Leafs are the first NHL team worth US$1 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
The Vancouver Canucks are the next Canadian team on the list, in seventh at $342 million. The Calgary Flames are in 12th at $245 million, the Edmonton Oilers are ranked 14th at $225 million, the Ottawa Senators 16th at $220 million and the Winnipeg Jets 20th at $200 million.
The Jets saw their value jump after their first full season in Winnipeg. Forbes valued the franchise at $164 million last year and at $135 million in 2010, before the team moved north.
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings are worth $276 million, 10th overall.
Forbes says the NHL's total revenues were $3.4 billion for the 2011-12 season. Fuelled by that nine per cent increase, the average NHL team is worth $282 million, 18 per cent more than a year ago.
With the players locked out by owners, the NHL already has cancelled 422 regular-season games. Forbes reports that 13 teams lost money last season.
The Leafs, Rangers (last Stanley Cup in 1994) and Canadiens (last title in 1993) account for 83 per cent of the league's income, with Toronto the most profitable franchise at $81.9 million, followed by the Rangers at $74 million and Montreal at $51.6 million.