There are a handful of teams around the league having a difficult time financially right now. The Toronto Maple Leafs are not one of them.
According to Forbes, the Leafs are the NHL’s second-most valuable team in 2020, with a franchise value estimated at $1.5 billion and an operating income listed at $56.3 million. Only the New York Rangers, who are reportedly worth $1.65 billion, are ranked higher than the Leafs, while three other Original Six franchises, the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, and Boston Bruins, round off the list of billion-dollar franchises.
Elsewhere around the league, smaller teams are struggling to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly half of the league, again, according to Forbes, lost money this season. Of course, some teams like the Arizona Coyotes, have been bleeding cash for years, but the pandemic forcing the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs to neutral, fanless locations wiped a tremendous amount of revenue for many.
Apparently, the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals, the 2019 and 2018 Stanley Cup champions respectively, pulled in over $20 million in revenue from tickets, concession, and merchandise sales during their runs. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who won this summer’s Stanley Cup, saw none of that and ultimately posted an $11 million operating loss.
Thankfully for these teams, the league’s bourgeoisie (the aforementioned billion-dollar class of New York, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, and Boston) has helped carry the rest of the league through this disaster…
The league’s five most valuable teams—the New York Rangers ($1.65 billion), the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.5 billion), the Montreal Canadiens ($1.34 billion), the Chicago Blackhawks ($1.085 billion) and the Boston Bruins ($1 billon)—accounted for almost a quarter of the league’s revenue. Without them, the league would have lost $50 million.