(Reuters) - The New York Rangers, worth $1.5 billion, are the most valuable franchise in the National Hockey League for a third consecutive year, according to the annual list published by business magazine Forbes on Tuesday.
The Rangers are worth nearly triple the average of the NHL’s 31 teams, which Forbes said rose 15 percent to $594 million due in part to the $500 million expansion fee that was paid by the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who were 14th on the list.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, who were rated the most valuable franchise from 2005-14, moved up a spot from last year to No 2 with a value of $1.4 billion.
The Montreal Canadiens ($1.25 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1 billion) and Boston Bruins ($890 million) rounded out the top five while the reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins ($650 million) were 10th on the list.
According to Forbes, the big market NHL teams have received a boost to their values from what they called the ever-increasing premium being paid for teams in all the major sports.
For the complete list visit www.Forbes.com/NHL-valuations.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge