St. Louis Blues Technically Worth Less Than Seattle Kraken

St. Louis Blues Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues have a solid overall worth. However, they are apparently worth less than a team yet to hit the ice.

The St. Louis Blues are priceless to their fans. They might not have the history of the “Original Six”, but they’re one of the first expansion franchises and have been a mainstay in the NHL.

Other cities balk at this idea because of the overall view that anything not on the coasts is not worth as much. Forbes would disagree.

While the pandemic hit the franchise quite hard, they still have a good value. Though the overall value of the Blues dropped by $20 million, the Blues are still worth $510 million.

Some might be alarmed by the fact the team’s value dropped so much, but the pandemic hit almost all hockey teams hard. Only the New York Rangers, valued well over $1 billion, held their value. All other 30 teams dropped.

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However, the interesting thing about the Forbes list is not necessarily the value of the teams in and of itself. Sure, it’s an indicator of missed playoff funds, no fans in the stands and also how much of a gap there is between the NHL and other teams in other leagues.

Yet, the more interesting thing is the initial value of the Seattle Kraken in comparison. It’s not quite an apples to apples comparison, but as far as the NHL is concerned, before ever signing a player or even laying down a sheet of ice, the Kraken are worth more money than almost two thirds of the teams in the NHL.

The Blues are worth the aforementioned $510 million, placing them 18th in the league. The Dallas Stars are worth $575 million, placing them at 11th.

The expansion fee for Seattle was a whopping $650 million. That does not seem to include the $10 million the ownership group paid as an application fee either.

That puts Seattle right into the top 10 in terms of initial value, in a sense. The Pittsburgh Penguins are listed at 10th and worth $650 million.

Again, this is somewhat apples to oranges. While Forbes didn’t include all their criteria, team income and television deals were a big part of the value of each franchise and Seattle doesn’t have any of that yet.

So, because the NHL values a new team as worth a $650 million asking price doesn’t automatcially mean Forbes would say that’s their value. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to see it that way.

Of course, combining the perception that the Blues are viewed by the league the same way any fan on either coast sees the middle of the country and also the way things were handed to the Vegas Golden Knights doesn’t help. Expansion teams of the recent past had a long road to becoming a contender, while Vegas and presumably Seattle are handed good teams from the word go.

St. Louis cannot complain too much since they had a strong team to start back in the 1960’s, but they also had a deeper pool to choose from. When there are only six teams in the league, that league will be populated by the elite.

Even the older players and castoffs were still some legendary names in the game.

Nevertheless, the simple numbers are slightly off putting. For a team that has been around more than 50 years to be valued at more than $100 million less than a team that’s never played a game is puzzling.

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Still, it could be worse. Buffalo has been around almost as long as the Blues and are valued at less than $400 million and both Arizona and Florida are worth less than $300 million.

Gotta look at things positively.