Originally written on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 11/28/12
Forbes magazine published its annual valuation of NHL franchises on Wednesday and anointed the Toronto Maple Leafs as the leagues first billion-dollar club. Forbes numbers are sure to cause a lot of discussion, partly because individual teams and the league always dispute the calculations. Forbes relies on estimates in many cases and public information (such as the value of TV rights deals) and doesnt have access to teams financial ledgers. Its findings show a greater economic gulf between the leagues strongest and weakest teams even as theres more parity on the ice. Among those findings: The three most profitable teams accounted for 83 of the leagues 250 million income for the 2011-12 season, and 13 of the leagues 30 teams lost money before non-cash expenses and interest payments. According to Forbes, the Maple Leafs who havent won the Stanley Cup since 1967 are worth 1 billion in part because theyre owned by a huge telecommunications company and they can leverage their TV rig...
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