The Edmonton Oilers might be struggling terribly on the ice, but they are well-placed as one of the most valuable franchises in the NHL.
With a record of 2-8-1, the Oilers have equalled their worst ever start to a season through 11 games. If they manage to lose to the Sharks on Thursday night, they will be tied for the fewest points in the NHL.
However, as the Oilers seemingly hurtle from one disaster to the next, at least they finally have some good news off the ice. According to Sportico *, they are they eighth most valuable franchise in the NHL.
The Oilers have been valued at $1.59 billion, which represents a one-year increase of 23 percent. The average valuation for an NHL franchise is just under $1.31 billion, so they are well-placed above the mean average.
The value of other NHL teams
Unsurprisingly, the Leafs are ranked as the most valuable franchise, at an astounding $2.65 billion. Equally unsurprising, the Coyotes rank last, at $675 million. (Come on NHL, it really is time to move on and look elsewhere, preferably north of the border.)
In terms of the other Canadian teams, the Canadiens rank third at $2.27 billion, while the Canucks are 13th at $1.2 billion. The Flames are 17th at $1.14 billion, the Senators are 27th at $950 million and the Jets are 28th, at $925 million.
The Oilers’ ranking is excellent, especially when you consider five of the seven teams above them are part of the original six and another one is in Los Angeles. (The Flyers are the other franchise above them.) This alludes to their excellent championship history of five Stanley Cups, their arena, and having the best player in the game today. (Yep, we’re still sticking to this, despite Connor McDavid’s own poor start — by his lofty standards — to the season.)
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Good news all around for the NHL
For the NHL in general, every franchise seeing a year-over-year increase is excellent for the league. It’s also important because, as per the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, hockey-related revenue contributes towards calculating the salary cap each season.
It will be interesting to discover what Forbes‘ updated NHL team values are, which should come out sometime towards the end of December. Last year they ranked the Oilers as the seventh-most valuable franchise, at $1.275 billion. (The Rangers were first at $2.2 billion, while the Leafs were second at $2 billion.)
Regardless, overall it’s fair to say the Oilers are in an extremely healthy position in terms of their financial stability and worth. Now, if they can just get the team to start performing up to their capabilities…
* For transparency and context, Sportico used various methods to derive the fair market value of each of the 32 NHL franchises. As per their article, they wrote:
"“Sportico calculated each team’s revenue, relying on publicly available information and financial records—as well as interviews with those knowledgeable of team finances, including nine sports bankers and lawyers who actively work on NHL transactions. In the interest of accuracy, we traded candor for anonymity. This information was vetted with multiple team owners, team financial and operating officers, media relations personnel and former team executives, as well as industry experts and sports-focused economists.”"