The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly hurt National Hockey League (NHL) teams, but the Montreal Canadiens retain a value of US$1.34 billion.
Forbes magazine released its annual ranking of the value of NHL franchises on Wednesday.
In third place, the Canadiens are second only to the New York Rangers, who remain in the lead for the seventh consecutive year ($1.65 billion), and the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.5 billion).
More worrisome, or perhaps encouraging for those who dream of the return of the Quebec Nordiques, the average value of NHL clubs has fallen 2% to $653 million. This is the first decline since 2001.
In short, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the NHL hard, like other professional circuits. “Forbes” said nine teams – four more than in the 2018-2019 season – recorded at least $10 million in operating losses for the last campaign. Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning (-$11 million, according to “Forbes”) is part of this group, the worst being the New York Islanders (-$39 million).
Coyotes and Panthers in danger?
In terms of team value, the Arizona Coyotes close the rankings at $285 million, having lost 5%. In 30th place, the Florida Panthers worry just as much with a value of $295 million and operating losses of $28.9 million in 2020.
Among Canadian clubs, the Ottawa Senators are ranked 26th with a value of $430 million; a year earlier, it was $445 million. The Winnipeg Jets also have the lowest value in Canada, at $405 million, which places them 27th in the NHL.
Five separate teams
Interesting fact: the top 5 in the standings, completed by the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins, represents almost a quarter of the income of the Bettman circuit. Without these top five teams, the NHL would have lost approximately $50 million in 2020.
Despite the turbulent year, the value of the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Canadiens has remained the same. The Molson family presented total revenues of $219 million with the CH, signing an operating result of $86.5 million. Only the Rangers, owned by Madison Square Garden Sports, did better on the latter data with an operating profit of $87 million.
The five billionaire teams*:
New York Rangers – $1.65 billion (+0%)
Toronto Maple Leafs – $1.5 billion (+0%)
Montreal Canadiens – $1.34 billion (+0%)
Chicago Blackhawks – $1.08 billion (+0%)
Boston Bruins – $1 billion (+0%)
Value of Canadian squads (NHL rank)*:
Toronto Maple Leafs – $1.5 billion (2nd)
Montreal Canadiens – $1.34 billion (3rd)
Vancouver Canucks – $725 million (10th)
Edmonton Oilers – $550 million (14th)
Calgary Flames – $480 million (20th)
Ottawa Senators – $430 million (26th)
Winnipeg Jets – $405 million (27th)
The five clubs with the lowest value*:
Arizona Coyotes – $285 million (-5%)
Florida Panthers – $295 million (-5%)
Columbus Blue Jackets – $310 million (-5%)
Buffalo Sabers – $385 million (-4%)
Winnipeg Jets – $405 million (-4%)