Forbes’ latest study on NHL franchises has shown that revenue is up, but profitability is not.
Player costs, a result of the league’s high salary cap, have hindered some teams from making an increased profit despite increases in revenue from the sport’s increased popularity.
Money-losing teams like the New Jersey Devils, whose value sank 17%, are struggling to stay out of bankruptcy while teams who play in big markets are raking in the dough.
The league’s most valuable team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, is now worth $521 million according to Forbes. The NHL’s second most valuable team, the New York Rangers, are worth $507 million. The third most valuable team, the Montreal Canadiens are worth $445 million.
The three most valuable teams “posted an aggregate operating profit greater than the rest of the league combined.”
What does this mean for the NHL? Likely we can expect some major negotiations and maybe even a lockout come September when a new collective bargaining agreement must be voted on by the owners and players.