Toronto named most valuable NHL team

Forbes magazine has ranked the Toronto Maple Leafs as the most valuable NHL franchise with a worth of $521 million.

Forbes says the average team value hit a record $240 million, while operating income fell 21 percent because of soaring player salaries.

Hockey’s wealth gap is widening: 18 of the 30 teams are losing money while top markets such as Toronto, New York City and Montreal see their values rising, thanks to ticket revenue and cable television deals.

The Rangers are second at $507 million and the Montreal Canadiens third at $445 million.

Forbes has Detroit fourth at $336 million and Stanley Cup-champion Boston is fifth at $325 million.

Chicago, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Kings round out the top 10.