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What’s Your Favorite NHL Franchise Worth?

Jacob Scott

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It is that time of year again. The Holidays are here and so are Forbes annual rankings for the NHL’s most valuable teams. Following the COVID-shortened season that saw a 2.0% dip in overall team value, arenas are full once again and hockey has heated up quickly. Even though the pandemic is still hanging around, team values increased by 32% from last season, marking the largest increase in eight years. A huge factor in this increase is the recent seven-year television rights agreement with ESPN and Turner, who will pay the NHL an average of $625 million per year compared to the $300 million they were receiving from NBC in the years prior. The top spot this year goes to the New York Rangers, who become the first NHL team ever to be worth more than two billion dollars. Here is a look at the full list from top to bottom. 

Top 10 

Alexis Lafreniere, New York Rangers (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

1. New York Rangers

Value: $2 billion 2020 Ranking: 1st  Owner: Madison Square Garden Sports

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

Value: $1.8 billion  2020 Ranking: 2nd Owner: Bell Canada, Rogers Communications, Larry Tanenbaum

3. Montreal Canadiens

Value: $1.6 billion  2020 Ranking: 3rd Owner: Molson family

4. Chicago Blackhawks

Value: $1.4 billion  2020 Ranking: 4th Owner: Rocky Wirtz

5. Boston Bruins

Value $1.3 billion  2020 Ranking: 5th Owner: Jeremy Jacobs

6. Philadelphia Flyers

Value: $1.2 billion  2020 Ranking: 7th Owner: Comcast

7. Edmonton Oilers

Value: $1.1 billion  2020 Ranking: 14th Owner: Daryl Katz

8. Los Angeles Kings 

Value: $1.025 billion  2020 Ranking: 6th Owner: Philip Anschutz

9. Detroit Red Wings

Value: $990 million  2020 Ranking: 8th Owner: Marian Ilitch

10. New York Islanders 

Value: $950 million  2020 Ranking: 16th Owner: Scott Malkin, Jon Ledecky

The club from the big apple becomes the first team worth $2 billion in NHL history. This marks the eighth straight year that the Rangers top the list, largely due to their ‘original six’ market, and $1 billion restoration of Madison Square Garden. The Philadephia Flyers and New York Islanders are two other teams benefitting from recent arena transformations. The two largest increases in the top ten came from the Islanders, who jumped from 16th to 10th with an increase of 83%, and the Edmonton Oilers, who jumped from 14th to 7th with an increase of 100%. 

Middle of the Pack 

Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin scoring his 700th goal, Feb. 22, 2020 (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

11. Washington Capitals

Value: $930 million 2020 Ranking: 9th Owner: Ted Leonsis

12. Pittsburgh Penguins

Value: $900 million 2020 Ranking: 11th Owner: Mario Lemieux, Ron Burkle

13. Seattle Kraken

Value: $875 million 2020 Ranking: none Owner: David Bonderman

14. Vancouver Canucks 

Value: $825 million 2020 Ranking: 10th Owner: Aquilini Investment Group

15. New Jersey Devils 

Value: $775 million 2020 Ranking: 15th Owner: Josh Harris, David Blitzer

16. Dallas Stars 

Value: $720 million 2020 Ranking: 12th Owner: Tom Gagliardi 

17. Vegas Golden Knights 

Value: $710 million 2020 Rank: 13th Owner:Bill Foley, Maloof family

18. Calgary Flames

Value: $680 million 2020 Rank: 20th Owner: N. Murray Edwards

19. Minnesota Wild 

Value: $675 million 2020 Rank: 19th Owner: Craig Leipold

20. Tampa Bay Lightning 

Value: $650 million 2020 Rank: 21st Owner: Jeffrey Vinik

21. St. Louis Blues

Value: $640 million 2020 Rank: 18th Owner: Tom Stillman

Among the middle of the pack are many teams that fell in this years’ rankings. The biggest decrease came from the Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars, and Vegas Golden Knights, who all dropped four spots.

Related: Every NHL Teams’ All-Time Best Goal Scorer

The newcomer Seattle Kraken grabbed the 13th spot on the list right off the bat with their impressive ‘Climate Pledge Arena’ and high number of initial ticket sales. The only clubs that saw an increase in this group were the Calgary Flames and two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion, Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Bottom 10

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

22. Colorado Avalanche 

Value: $630 million 2020 Rank: 22nd Owner: Stanley Kroenke

23. San Jose Sharks

Value: $625 million 2020 Rank: 17th Owner: Hasso Plattner

24. Anaheim Ducks

Value: $620 million 2020 Rank: 23rd Owner: Henry and Susan Samueli

25. Nashville Predators

Value: $600 million 2020 Rank: 25th Owner: Herbert Fritch

26. Winnipeg Jets 

Value: $575 million 2020 Rank: 27th Owner: True North Sports + Entertainment

27. Carolina Hurricanes

Value: $550 million 2020 Rank: 24th Owner: Tom Dundon

28. Ottawa Senators

Value: $525 million 2020 Rank: 26th Owner: Eugene Melnyk

29. Buffalo Sabres

Value: $500 million 2020 Rank: 28th Owner: Terrence and Kim Pegula

30. Columbus Blue Jackets

Value: $475 million 2020 Rank: 29th Owner: John P. McConnell, Nationwide

31. Florida Panthers

Value: $450 million 2020 Rank: 30th Owner: Vincent Viola

32. Arizona Coyotes

Value: $400 million 2020 Rank: 31st Owner: Alex Meruel

Phil Kessel, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Once again, it is the Arizona Coyotes rounding out the teams at the bottom of the list. Currently without an arena for the 2022-23 season and being threatened a lockout from their current arena this season, the messy Coyotes have traded hands twice over the past seven years. They were sold for $305 million in 2014 and again for $300 million in 2019 and have been the lowest valued team for a large part of a decade. This bottom group represents the least change as only the Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes, and San Jose Sharks moved more than one spot in either direction. 

The NHL is seeing a reboot after a large decrease in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemics’ worst times. After reaching a low of $2.9 billion in total revenue last season, the league is projected to see a steady increase in the coming years, eventually reaching $6 billion in 2025-26.

Now that you have read the full list, who are your biggest surprises?

Sam Nestler is a Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the NHL and NCAA. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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