Leafs most valuable in Forbes list

Toronto Maple Leafs Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak, Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf and Keith Aulie celebrate...

Toronto Maple Leafs Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak, Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf and Keith Aulie celebrate Bozak's second goal of the game against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Anaheim, California November 27, 2011. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:39 PM ET

The Toronto Maple Leafs are hot -- and you can take that to the bank.

The Leafs, who are on course to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004, have seen their value rise 3% since last year to $521 million.

That makes them the most valuable team in the NHL, based on Forbes.com's rankings announced Wednesday.

Coincidentally, the Original Six teams take the top half-dozen spots.

The Montreal Canadiens are ranked third at $445 million and the Vancouver Canucks are seventh at $300 million -- the only other Canadian franchises to crack the top 10.

The Calgary Flames ($220 million) are 13th; Edmonton Oilers ($212 million) 15th; Ottawa Senators ($201 million) 17th;

and the Winnipeg Jets ($164 million) 24th.

The value of the Jets franchise has increased by 21% thanks to its move from Atlanta. It was worth $135 million last year.

The average NHL franchise is now valued at $240 million, Forbes says, 47% more than it was before the lockout that cancelled the 2004-05 season.

Revenue in 2010-11 was up 5% to an average of $103 million per team. But player costs increased by 11% to an average of $59 million per team and, as a result, 18 of 30 franchises lost money, Forbes reported,

Rank        Team            (2010 rank)    2011 value $mil    (2010 value)    % change 2010 to '11

1) Toronto Maple Leafs (1)    521 (505)    3%

2) New York Rangers (2)    507 (461)    10%

3) Montreal Canadiens (3)    445 (408)    9%

4) Detroit Red Wings (4)    336 (315)    7%

5) Boston Bruins (5)    325 (302)    8%

6) Chicago Blackhawks (7)    306 (300)    2%

7) Vancouver Canucks (8)    300 (262)    15%

8) Philadelphia Flyers (6)    290 (301)    -4%

9) Pittsburgh Penguins (9)    264 (235)    12%

10) Los Angeles Kings (12)    232 (215)    8%

11) Dallas Stars (10)    230 (227)    1%

12) Washington Capitals (16)    225 (197)    14%

13) Calgary Flames (13)    220 (206)    7%

14) Minnesota Wild (14)    213 (202)    5%

15) Edmonton Oilers (20)    212 (183)    16%

16) San Jose Sharks (18)    211 (194)    9%

17) Ottawa Senators (17)    201 (196)    3%

18) Colorado Avalanche (15)    198 (198)    E

19) Anaheim Ducks (19)    184 (188)    -2%

20) New Jersey Devils (11)    181 (218)    -17%

21) Tampa Bay Lightning (28)    174 (145)    20%

22) Buffalo Sabres (21)    173 million (169)    2%

23) Carolina Hurricanes (24)    169 (162)    4%

24) Winnipeg Jets (29)    164 (135)    21%

25) Nashville Predators (27)    163 (148)    10%

26) Florida Panthers (22)    162 (168)    -4%

27) St. Louis Blues (23)    157 (165)    -5%

28) Columbus Blue Jackets (25) 152 (153)    -1%

29) New York Islanders (26)    149 (151)     -1%

30) Phoenix Coyotes (30)    134 (134)    E

-- Source: Forbes.com


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