The Rangers, owned by publicly traded Madison Square Garden Company, are the NHL's second most valuable franchise, according to an annual survey released by Forbes Wednesday.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, No. 1 on the list, are the first team to be worth $1 billion. Despite zero playoff appearances since 2004, Toronto tops the list for the seventh consecutive year.
The NHL's 30 teams are worth an average $282 million, a 17.5% rise over last year, due largely to what Forbes said was the league's ability to raise ticket prices, increase attendance and renew or secure lucrative sponsorships.
But the spread between rich and poor teams proved dramatic as the NHL's top five teams are worth an average $605 million versus the $145 million average value of the bottom five teams.
The Rangers (worth $740 million), Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens (worth $575 million) accounted for 83% of the NHL's income.
The Forbes report was released with the NHL in the midst of a labor dispute with players that began mid September. A third of the regular season already has been wiped out.
The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Rangers, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns amNewYork.