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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Maple Leafs worth $1 billion

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are the first NHL team worth $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

The Leafs, who have not won a Stanley Cup since 1967, are worth $250 million more than the next most valuable franchise, the New York Rangers. The Montreal Canadiens are worth $575 million.

"I'm intrigued by the evaluation," said Tom Anselmi, president and COO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun in an email. "The recent MLSE acquisition clearly demonstrates the growing importance of all of our franchises to our fans, but I have no idea of how they came up with that number.''

Least valuable of the 30 teams are the St. Louis Blues at $130 million and the Phoenix Coyotes at $134 million.

The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings are worth $276 million, 10th overall.

Forbes says the NHL's total revenues were $3.4 billion for the 2011-12 season.

With the players locked out by owners, the NHL already has canceled 422 regular-season games.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and The Associated Press contributed to this story.