When it comes to franchise values, the San Jose Sharks are right in the middle of the 30-team NHL, according to the latest numbers from Forbes.
In its annual report, Forbes lists the Sharks as worth 223 million, up slightly from their 2011 valuation of 211 million (16th in the league). The team generated 101 million in revenue, but had an operating income of -0.9 million.
According to the article: The Sharks have sold out 110 consecutive games at HP Pavilion at San Jose, yet lead owner Kevin Compton said Sharks Sports & Entertainment, the team's parent company, lost 15 million during the 2011-12 season.
Over the last four seasons, the Sharks have claimed combined losses of more than of 60 million.
Forbes lists the Toronto Maple Leafs as its first-ever team to reach the 1 billion mark. The New York Rangers (750 million); Montreal Canadiens (575 million); Chicago Blackhawks (350 million) and Boston Bruins (348 million) round out the top five.
While the teams at the top of the food chain are alive and healthy, the publication makes note of the large disparity between the big moneymakers and those bringing up the rear. The teams in the bottom five Carolina, the New York Islanders, Columbus, Phoenix and St. Louis are valued at 145 million on average. Forbes sites the recent relocation of the Winnipeg Jets from Atlanta as an example of how relocation of some franchises could lead to a more viable league.
The list also illustrates why the NHLPA is pushing for increased revenue sharing in the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations. In perhaps the most stunning number in the report, Forbes says that the Maple Leafs, Rangers and Canadiens accounted for a whopping 83 percent of the leagues income. Thirteen of the 30 teams lost money.