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Chicago Blackhawks become NHL’s 4th billion-dollar franchise, per report

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Forbes estimates the Hawks are worth $1 billion now.

Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade And Rally Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks are the fourth team in the NHL to reach a franchise value of $1 billion or more, according to the latest estimates released as part of Forbes’ Business of Hockey report. That’s certainly good news for the Wirtz family, which has owned the team since 1954.

The Blackhawks are fourth in NHL franchise values behind the New York Rangers ($1.5 billion), Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.4 billion), and Montreal Canadiens ($1.25 billion), three other Original Six teams with tons of fans and even more history. That’s an eight percent increase from last year, when Forbes estimated the Hawks’ value at $925 million.

The Rangers, Maple Leafs, and Canadiens actually all saw greater growth over the past year than the Blackhawks, but the order of those teams hasn’t changed. The Bruins round out the top five with an estimated valuation of $890 million.

The Blackhawks are also one of the most successful teams in terms of operating income. The team is also fourth there behind the Rangers, Maple Leafs, and Canadiens with operating income of $48 million. Seven NHL teams lost money operating over the past year, according to the report.