Maple Leafs most valuable in NHL
NEW YORK -- Forbes magazine has ranked the Toronto Maple Leafs as the most valuable NHL franchise with a worth of $521 million.
Forbes says the average team value hit a record $240 million, while operating income fell 21 percent due to soaring player salaries.
Hockey's wealth gap is widening: 18 of the 30 teams are losing money while top markets like Toronto, New York City and Montreal see their values rising, thanks to ticket revenue and cable television deals.
The Rangers are second at $507 million and the Montreal Canadiens third at $445 million.
Forbes has Detroit fourth at $336 million and Stanley Cup-champion Boston is fifth at $325 million.
Chicago, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Kings round out the top 10.
The full list is at www.forbes.com/nhl.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press