Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 12/1/11

Hockey’s popularity and its profitability are at an all-time high in North America. Both TV ratings and internet hits are up for the Canadian sport.

Canada, our neighbors to the immediate north produce a lot of valuable products and commodities: oil, pharmacies, hot women (here’s a top ten list of Canadian female celebrities), maple syrup. But hockey is obviously the #1 export. Canadian NHL teams are almost as popular as Canada drugs, and the Toronto Maple Leafs lead the way.

Forbes magazine released their annual list of the most profitable hockey franchises, and Toronto is once again #1 with an estimated total value of $521 million dollars (U.S.).

From SportsNet:

The Montreal Canadiens ranked third on the list with a net worth of $445 million; the Vancouver Canucks are ranked seventh, worth $300 million; the Calgary Flames ranked 13th at $220 million; the Edmonton Oilers ranked 15th at $212 million; the Ottawa Senators ranked 17th at $201 million.

The newest Canadian franchise, the Winnipeg Jets, increased 21 per cent in value this past year, which was the most in the NHL. After True North Sports and Entertainment purchased the Atlanta Thrashers in May for $110 million and relocated to Winnipeg, the franchise is now worth $164 million.

Here’s the full list of 30 team valuations, Canadian teams in bold. Go here for more in-depth numbers and figures

1) Toronto Maple Leafs $521 million

2) New York Rangers $507 million

3) Montreal Canadiens $445 million

4) Detroit Red Wings $336 million

5) Boston Bruins $325 million

6) Chicago Blackhawks $306 million

7) Vancouver Canucks $300 million

8) Philadelphia Flyers $290 million

9) Pittsburgh Penguins $264 million

10) Los Angeles Kings $232 million

11) Dallas Stars $230 million

12) Washington Capitals $225 million

13) Calgary Flames $220 million

14) Minnesota Wild $213 million

15) Edmonton Oilers $212 million

16) San Jose Sharks $211 million

17) Ottawa Senators $201 million

18) Colorado Avalanche $198 million

19) Anaheim Ducks $184 million

20) New Jersey Devils $181 million

21) Tampa Bay Lightning $174 million

22) Buffalo Sabres $173 million

23) Carolina Hurricanes $169 million

24) Winnipeg Jets $164 million

25) Nashville Predators $163 million

26) Florida Panthers $162 million

27) St. Louis Blues $157 million

28) Columbus Blue Jackets $152 million

29) New York Islanders $149 million

30) Phoenix Coyotes $134 million

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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