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Value of NHL Teams Rises, Profit Declines

Bruins vs. Lightning
Brian Babineau/NHL via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the most valuable team, followed by the New York Rangers as team values hit all-time high, while the bottom line gets squeezed by player costs.

NEW YORK – The average value of National Hockey League teams has hit a new high amid growing revenue, but player salaries are a drag on profitability, Forbes reported.

The average hockey team is now worth $240 million, up 5 percent from last year due to a 5 percent revenue increase during the 2010-2011 season to an average of $103 million per team, it said. Among other revenue sources, sponsorship and merchandise sales are up.

But teams’ bottom line is under pressure. During the 2010-2011 season, the league posted an operating profit of $126 million, down 21 percent amid an 11 percent increase in player costs, according to Forbes. Last season, 18 of the league’s 30 teams lost money, compared with 16 a year earlier, it said.

The NHL’ most valuable team are the Toronto Maple Leafs, which are worth $521 million and recorded $81.8 million in operating profit last season, according to Forbes.

Second were Madison Square Garden's New York Rangers, whose value stands at $507 million with an operating profit of $41.4 million. The Montreal Canadiens, with a $445 million valuation and $47.7 million in operating profit, rank third.

The three teams’ combined operating profit was greater than the rest of the league combined, Forbes said.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai