Forbes magazine released its annual list of NHL team values, and it shows that the Maple Leafs are the first hockey team to break the $1 billion mark. The Bruins check in at No. 5, worth $348 million. The list also demonstrates hockey's inequality, as the top five teams (Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens, Blackhawks and Bruins) are valued at an average of $605 million, while the five least valuable (Hurricanes, Islanders, Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Blues) are worth an average of $145 million.
The study indicates that the three most profitable teams accounted for 83 percent of the league's income, while 13 of the 30 teams lost money. Even if the salary cap were lowered to 50 percent and subsidies from high-revenue teams to their counterparts were boosted $50 million to $200 million, some of the less-successful teams would need to go deep into the playoffs to assure themselves of a profitable year.
The story quotes an industry analyst as suggesting the league move some of its southernmost teams to places such as Quebec, Seattle and Portland, Ore.
"The Sun Belt has had plenty of time prove that the viability doesn't work," said Drew Dorweiler of Montreal-based Dartmouth Partners.
Read more about that story and others -- including an item about the Saints' team bus getting egged at the Atlanta aiport -- plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Thursday's Morning Mashup .