Toronto Maple Leafs: The NHL's First Billion-Dollar Team

Suraj Sukumar@Sukumar_S87Correspondent IINovember 29, 2012

Morgan Rielly is just one of many Maple Leafs prospects who will benefit from the work stoppage. Hopefully he can bring his billion-dollar franchise some success.
Morgan Rielly is just one of many Maple Leafs prospects who will benefit from the work stoppage. Hopefully he can bring his billion-dollar franchise some success.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL is currently in a heap of trouble, with its second work stoppage in less than a decade.

While the blame game between the NHL and NHLPA is still underway, the Toronto Maple Leafs have found a way to still be successful. 

Surprise, surprise. 

According to Forbes' NHL Valuations List, the Toronto Maple Leafs are now the NHL's first franchise worth $1 billion.  

Upon hearing this, every Toronto Maple Leafs fan should be thinking, "If only there wasn't a salary cap in the NHL." Brian Burke's job would become exponentially easier, and the city of Toronto might be able to see some playoff action for the first time since, well, before the previous work stoppage in 2005. 

Alas, the NHL does have a salary cap, and the valuation of $1 billion only helps one group of people: the owners. 

This news should be nothing new to Leafs Nation, who have seen some of the worst times over the last 15 years, primarily due to poor spending and atrocious front office management. 

Personally, I blame my James van Riemsdyk jersey. 

However, with Brian Burke at the helm, it seems the Toronto Maple Leafs are finally making a turn for the better. Sadly, due to the NHL lockout, the fans of Toronto must wait to see what their billion-dollar franchise can do on the ice. 

On the other hand, the work stoppage has provided extra time for the young Maple Leafs prospects to hone their skills, which can only help the franchise in the long run. 

When comparing the rosters of the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs and second-place New York Rangers ($750 million), it's safe to assume the Maple Leafs are nothing more than a rich team with a long road ahead.

Interestingly enough, consider the loyalty of Leafs Nation unchanged.  

Related

    Semyon Kizimov selected 211th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Semyon Kizimov selected 211th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs

    Alec Brownscombe
    via Maple Leafs Hotstove

    With their last pick of the 2018 draft, the Maple Leafs take Semyon Kizimov at 211

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    With their last pick of the 2018 draft, the Maple Leafs take Semyon Kizimov at 211

    Pension Plan Puppets
    via Pension Plan Puppets

    Zachary Bouthillier selected 209th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Zachary Bouthillier selected 209th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs

    Alec Brownscombe
    via Maple Leafs Hotstove

    Toronto Maple Leafs Select Zachary Bouthillier 209th Overall

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Toronto Maple Leafs Select Zachary Bouthillier 209th Overall

    Pension Plan Puppets
    via Pension Plan Puppets