THE FLYERS are ranked the eighth-most valuable NHL franchise by Forbes magazine with a worth of $290 million.

That represents a decline from last year, when the Flyers were ranked sixth, at $301 million.

Forbes ranked the Toronto Maple Leafs as the most valuable NHL franchise with a worth of $521 million.

Forbes reported the average team value hit a record $240 million, while operating income fell 21 percent due to soaring player salaries.

Hockey's wealth gap is widening: 18 of the 30 teams are losing money while top markets like Toronto, New York City and Montreal see their values rising, thanks to ticket revenue and cable television deals.

The Rangers are second at $507 million and the Montreal Canadiens third at $445 million. Detroit is fourth at $336 million and Stanley Cup-champion Boston is fifth at $325 million.

Chicago, Vancouver, the Flyers, Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Kings round out the top 10.

In last night's games * 

At Toronto, Milan Lucic scored twice and David Krejci added a goal and two assists for Boston, which beat the Maple Leafs, 6-3, for its 12th win in 13 games.

* At Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Ericsson each had a goal and an assist in the Red Wings' 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay.

* At Anaheim, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each had a goal and two assists as the Ducks defeated Montreal, 4-1.

* At Denver, Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and two assists as Colorado routed Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils, 6-1.

* At Edmonton, the Oilers lost to Minnesota in a shootout, 3-2.