Forbes says the Oilers are worth $1.1 billion, the seventh most valuable NHL franchise

Cam Lewis
2 years ago
Forbes has released its annual NHL team valuations. Nobody saw a bigger jump between last year’s valuations and now than the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers are ranked as the NHL’s seventh most valuable team at $1.1 billion (US), double what Forbes had them valued at last December.
The Philadelphia Flyers ($1.2 billion), Boston Bruins ($1.3 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.4 billion), Montreal Canadiens ($1.6 billion), Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.8 billion), and New York Rangers ($2 billion) are the six teams ranked above Edmonton. The Oilers are one spot above the Los Angeles Kings ($1.025 billion) so I guess that means Edmonton won the Wayne Gretzky trade (I kid, I kid).
In terms of other Canadian teams, the Vancouver Canucks ($825 million) rank 14th, the Calgary Flames ($680 million) rank 18th, the Winnipeg Jets ($575 million) rank 26th, and the Ottawa Senators ($525 million) rank 28th.
Forbes described Edmonton’s massive jump in valuation as due in part to the fact they “short-changed” them a little bit on their last rankings…
“The biggest rise in these valuations belongs to the Oilers, who doubled in value from last season’s ranking, to $1.1 billion. We now believe that we were short-changing them on revenue in the past and have verified that the team ranks in the top quartile in the NHL in every important revenue category, including local media, where they are in the top five alongside the Maple Leafs, the Canadiens, the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks.”
Given what the franchise has been through since the glory days of the 1980s, it’s pretty remarkable to see the Oilers towards the top of a list like this.
Back in the mid-1990s, a weak Canadian dollar almost sent the Oilers to Houston, just like how their WHA cousins, the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques, were relocated to the United States. Even though the team managed to survive, the subsequent era was filled with players leaving the team because they became too expensive to stick around in one of the league’s smallest markets.
In 2008, Daryl Katz bought the Oilers for $170 million (US). Forbes had the Oilers as the 20th most valuable NHL franchise at that time, dead last among the six Canadian teams. A significant change between then and now, of course, is Edmonton’s state-of-the-art facility downtown, which opened at the beginning of the 2016-17 season. The Oilers owning their own stadium rather than leasing at Northlands is a significant game-changer for their valuation.
Here’s Forbes’ detailed breakdown as to how they came to this valuation for the Oilers…

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