Mar 31, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Phil Kessel (81) skates with the puck against the Buffalo Sabres at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Sabres 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Maple Leafs Worth A Billion Dollars According To Forbes

Today Forbes released franchise values for all 30 teams, and it’s not a big surprise that the Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting on top. What may raise a few eyebrows, however, is that they list the team as being worth a billion dollars. Rounding out the top five are the New York Rangers $750M, Montreal Canadiens $575M, Chicago Blackhawks $350M, and Boston Bruins $348M. The Leafs, Rangers, and Canadiens combine to make up 83 percent of the league’s operating income by themselves.

So it appears that the owners crying foul during this lockout may be a bit ridiculous looking at these five teams, but not so when you look at the bottom five franchises. The Nashville Predators $167M, New York Islanders $155M, Columbus Blue Jackets $145M, Phoenix Coyotes $134M, and St. Louis Blues $130M make up the bottom five. That’s quite the disparity from the top to the bottom.

The Leafs are now the NHL’s first billion dollar franchise. The NFL has 20 teams worth at least a billion and Major League Baseball has three, the Dodgers, Yankess, and Red Sox that top the mark. The NBA on the other hand still does not have team that is worth a billion dollars, but the Lakers were last valued at $900M.

It’s shouldn’t come as a shock to see the Leafs worth this much since Rogers and Bell purchased the team, along with the Raptors and Air Canada Centre for $2.05 billion. Not to mention you pretty much have to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy a beer and hot dog at a game.

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