Phil Kessel celebrates with Dion Phaneuf

Maple Leafs represent NHL on Forbes’ 50 most valuable franchises


Anyone remember when James van Riemsdyk referred to the Toronto Maple Leafs as the New York Yankees of the NHL?

That comparison might not work when talking about actual playing success over the last 40 years, but those two franchises lead their respective sports in terms of financial worth.

Forbes released its list of the 50 most valuable franchises in the world and the Maple Leafs are the NHL’s sole representatives.

Toronto, as previously discussed, is worth $1 billion, which is good enough to put them in a tie with the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Lakers for 31st place.

The least valuable franchise on the list is the Oakland Raiders at $785 million. Based on Forbes Nov. 2012 valuations, the New York Rangers fell just short with a worth of $750 million. The Montreal Canadiens ranked third in the NHL at $575 million.

And in case you’re wondering, Real Madrid ranks number one in the world with a value of $3.3 billion, which is a billion more than the fourth place Yankees.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.