The Boston Bruins might have taken a conservative approach to this offseason due in part to the COVID-19 impact on the hockey economy, but none of it seems to have hurt their overall franchise value. The Boston Bruins hit the magical $1 billion mark in the latest NHL franchise valuations done by Forbes, something the business periodical does on an annual basis.
The Bruins were No. 5 on the overall list that included the New York Rangers ($1.65B), Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.5B), Montreal Canadiens ($1.34B), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.085B) and the Black and Gold at the exclusive $1 billion or more club. Those five teams accounted for nearly a quarter of the NHL’s entire revenue, and without them the NHL would have lost a massive $50 million last season, which underscores both that the NHL is a league of “the haves and the have nots” and that the league desperately needs a more lucrative TV deal in the next couple of years.
The overall mark underscores the excellent financial position that the Boston Bruins are in even as the entire league faces the difficult challenge of empty arenas at the start of a prospect 2020-21 NHL season next month. Clearly, the Boston Bruins have come a long way from the Original Six franchise that Jeremy Jacobs bought for a cool $10 million 45 years ago and have consistently spent to the salary cap limit over the last two decades since the NHL instituted the salary cap following the 2003-04 NHL season.
That’s the case again this year with the Bruins sitting with just $3.6 million in cap space currently with roughly a month prior to the planned (but-not-yet-approved) start to the new NHL season in mid-January. There have been reports that Jacobs was among a number of NHL owners contemplating whether the league would be better off skipping an upcoming season that’s going to be challenging to say the best, but it appears the NHL and NHLPA have moved beyond haggling over the dismal financials.
Forbes pegged the Bruins overall revenue at $170 million with $27 million in operating costs, nearly half of each of the other four NHL franchises over the $1 billion valuation mark. On the other side of the list, both the Florida Panthers and Arizona Coyotes were valued at under $300 million with a combined $46 million in losses over the last year.