The average value of NHL franchises declined for the first time since 2001 as the COVID-19 pandemic robbed teams of critical revenue, according to the annual list here published by business magazine Forbes on Wednesday.
With only 85% of regular-season games held with fans and the entire postseason played at neutral sites and behind closed doors, the resulting lack of revenue from things like ticket sales and concessions took a toll.
Forbes also attributed the drop to a delayed start to the 2020-21 campaign, which still does not have an official start date but is reportedly being targeted for mid-January.
As a result, Forbes said the average value of the NHL’s 31 franchises fell 2% during the past year to $653 million, while league revenue during the 2019-20 season totaled $4.4 billion, 14% less than the previous year,
The New York Rangers were the most valuable NHL franchise for a sixth consecutive year at $1.65 billion, unchanged from a year ago due in part due to healthy local cable television deals.
The Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.5 billion), Montreal Canadiens ($1.34 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.1 billion), and Boston Bruins ($ 1 billion) rounded out the top five.
The Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning were 21st on the list with a value of $460 million, unchanged from a year ago after being unable to reap the windfall that typically comes with a deep playoff run.
Forbes also stated that the NHL will suffer even greater losses next season due to the pandemic, keeping fans at home while arenas sit empty.
1. New York Rangers ($1.65 billion)
2. Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.5 billion)
3. Montreal Canadiens ($1.34 billion)
4. Chicago Blackhawks ($1.085 billion)
5. Boston Bruins ($1 billion)
6. Los Angeles Kings ($825 million)
7. Philadelphia Flyers ($800 million)
8. Detroit Red Wings ($775 million)
9. Washington Capitals ($750 million)
10. Vancouver Canucks ($725 million)
11. Pittsburgh Penguins ($650 million)
12. Dallas Stars ($575 million)
13. Vegas Golden Knights ($570 million)
14. Edmonton Oilers ($550 million)
15. New Jersey Devils ($530 million)
16. New York Islanders ($520 million)
17. San Jose Sharks ($515 million)
18. St. Louis Blues ($510 million)
19. Minnesota Wild ($500 million)
20. Calgary Flames ($480 million)
21. Tampa Bay Lightning ($470 million)
22. Colorado Avalanche ($465 million)
23. Anaheim Ducks ($460 million)
24. Carolina Hurricanes ($440 million)
25. Nashville Predators ($435 million)
26. Ottawa Senators ($430 million)
27. Winnipeg Jets ($405 million)
28. Buffalo Sabres (385 million)
29. Columbus Blue Jackets ($310 million)
30. Florida Panthers ($295 million)
31. Arizona Coyotes ($285 million)