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At least in value, Leafs top the list

Baltimore Sun

For the fourth straight year, the Maple Leafs are the NHL's most valuable team, according to Forbes magazine's annual survey.

The Leafs are worth $470 million, an increase of 5 percent over last year. They easily are worth more than the next franchise, the Rangers at $416 million, up just 1 percent.

The Canadiens are third ($339 million), followed by the Red Wings ($337 million), Flyers ($273 million), Bruins ($271 million) and Blackhawks ($258 million).

The Hawks had the biggest rise in value, up 26 percent, followed by the Capitals at 15 percent to $183 million. The Stanley Cup champion Penguins rank 11th at $222 million.

The average value of the 30 teams is $223 million, a slight increase over the $220 million of 2008. Not surprisingly, the Coyotes, with all their ownership issues, have the lowest worth, $138 million. And 14 teams - nearly half the league - went down in value.

•Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk (broken foot) practiced Wednesday but left early. Coach John Anderson says Kovalchuk's availability will be a game-time decision Thursday night at the Rangers. ... Avalanche forward Darcy Tucker was activated from the injured reserve list after he missed eight games with a concussion.


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