Forbes Magazine published it’s annual report on the Business of Hockey today.  It should be stated at the outset that the NHL doesn’t co-operate with their survey.  Forbes depends on financial institutions in order to establish it’s accounting.  However, historically Forbes has been proven to be very accurate in it’s estimates.

In today’s report, the Canadiens are listed as the third most valuable team in the NHL at 445 million dollars and increase of 9% from 408 million in last year’s survey.  This year, Toronto is ranked first at $521 million followed by the Rangers (507 million).   Behind the Canadiens are Detroit, Boston and Chicago.

According to the report, the Canadiens made a profit of 47.7 million dollars on revenues of 165 millions, a 28.9 percent profit.  That’s a drop from two years ago, when the team had nine home playoff dates as compared with three in 2011.

The figures are based on earnings produced by the team and Bell Centre on hockey nights plus marketing and broadcast revenues.  They do not include revenues accrued by the promotions department Evenko (formerly the Gillett Entertainment Group),  which has made the Bell Centre one of the world’s busiest concert venues.

The Molson Family consortium purchased the Canadiens, Bell Centre and Evenko Promotions for 575 million dollars in 2009.  At the time, Forbes valued the team at 339 million dollars.  In two years, by Forbes calculations, overall Canadiens value has increased more than 30 percent (106 million dollars).

In total, the value of NHL’s thirty teams increased by 5% but league profits fell 21% or about 4.2 million dollars per team.  According to Forbes, 18 of the league’s 30 franchises lost money last year, a fact that is not going to be lost when the NHL presents it’s case to the Player’s Association at  Collective Bargaining negotiations early in the New Year.

This may say it all regarding the NHL’s current state of affairs:

“The league’s most valuable team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, is now worth $521 million and generated $81.8 million in operating income last season. The New York Rangers, who are enjoying the benefits of playing in a refurbished Madison Square Garden, earned $41.4 million last year and are the NHL’s second-most valuable team, worth $507 million. And the  Montreal Canadiens, placing third with a $445 million valuation, earned $47.7 million. Thus the top three teams posted an aggregate operating profit greater than the rest of the league combined.”

You can wade through the entire Forbes report  here.