The Toronto Maple Leafs are worth a whopping $1 billion, and are the first NHL team to be valued at such a high price. Even though they haven’t made the playoffs since the 2003-04 season, the Leafs are valued much higher than the majority of the league.
The average franchise value for teams in the NHL is about $282 million, while the average Canadian franchise has a value of about $400 million. The Maple Leafs also have the highest operating income of all teams in the NHL at $81.9 million, annually.
According to Forbes:
But the spread between the rich and poor teams is dramatic. The five most valuable teams–the Maple Leafs ($1 billion), New York Rangers ($750 million), Montreal Canadiens ($575 million), Chicago Blackhawks ($350 million) and Boston Bruins ($348 million)–are worth $605 million, on average. The five least valuable–the Carolina Hurricanes ($162 million), New York Islanders ($155 million), Columbus Blue Jackets ($145 million), Phoenix Coyotes ($134 million) and St. Louis Blues ($130 million)–are worth just $145 million, on average.
But the sport’s three most profitable teams–the Maple Leafs ($81.9 million), Rangers ($74 million), Canadians ($51.6 million)–accounted for 83% of the league’s income [...]
The bottom half of the league rounds out with the St. Louis Blues, valued at $130 million, slightly less than the Phoenix Coyotes ($134 million) and the Columbus Blue Jackets ($145 million).[Pro Hockey Talk, Puck Daddy]