The NHL is already shaping up to be an exciting League this coming season with a number of signings from the big teams making it look tighter than ever on paper.
Of course the game isn’t played on paper but there’s a lot to be said for the early odds given by the sportsbooks, particularly as their NHL picks have fluctuated somewhat since the end of free agency.
The power rankings are certainly making for an interesting reading, with the Tampa Bay Lightning leading the way ahead of last season’s winners the St Louis Blues.
Below we take a look at the chances of all the main contenders for the Stanley Cup 2020…
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning are favourites with the sportsbooks after successfully managing to keep hold of star players coming into the season.
Brayden Point has yet to sign a new contract with the franchise but that is looking almost certain according to teammate Anthony Cirelli.
That nucleus of a squad will hold them in good stead, so it’s no surprise they’re leading the way at +750.
Boston Bruins won the Conference Championship last season but fell just short against the Blues. They haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 2011 but are among the favourites this year.
They’re +1000 as it stands with still some work to do in the off-season with new contracts for Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo a real priority. Get these two locked in and they’ll be real contenders once again in 2019/20.
Las Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights have a big roster for the coming season with some expensive contracts and have largely managed to keep the same roster.
They won the Conference Championship two seasons ago but are desperate for the Stanley Cup despite only being in existence for a few seasons.
They’ve made some sensible signings recently in Deryk Engelland and William Karlsson and at +1000 look good value for a real run of it over the next few seasons.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Among the favourites for the Stanley Cup are the Maple Leafs. They’re priced at +1000 and have just signed a number of free agents with the signing of contracts for Nick Shore, Kevin Gravel, Kenny Agostino and Garrett Wilson, as well as Pontus Aberg, Tyler Gaudet and Kalle Kossila also joining the roster.
It’s a huge signal of intent from the franchise, who haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967!
St Louis Blues
The Blues went on a staggering run to the Finals last season, securing their first Stanley Cup. They’re outsiders once again at +1500 but have signed well, bringing in Marc Savard as coach and kept a large number of that winning team.
They’ll be all the better for that experience of the Stanley Cup but fans will be wary of a hangover from last season, which could prevent fans backing them to retain the title. A number of players have sealed huge contracts because of victory, so it’s time for them to step up once again, particularly the likes of Oskar Sundqvist and Mackenzie MacEachern who were real revelations last term.