NHL Stanley Cup Odds That Could Fall After Deadline Moves
Some recent NHL trade deadline days have drawn scorn for having the action and excitement of someone reading a phone directory. Instead of wheeling and dealing, viewers mostly saw “insiders” sitting around glossy TV studio tables, scrolling their Twitter feeds in vain for any breaking news.
Not this year. The NHL trade deadline lived up to the hype this time, with several A-list players being swapped and lots of other good-sized deals. Some teams are clearly going all-in on this being the year for a Stanley Cup.
The odds figure to shift for some teams, based on their deadline activity. Let’s take a look at who figures to see some serious odds shifts:
Columbus Blue Jackets
Talk about a team going all in.
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen has pushed all the chips to the pot, or so it seems. On the Blue Jackets now that weren’t there last week: Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Adam McQuaid and Keith Kincaid.
Duchene and Dzingel, acquired in separate deals with Ottawa, were two of the more attractive players at this year’s trade bazaar. Both players are virtually rentals given their contracts run out this season, but what high quality rentals they are.
It’s not just what Columbus did do at the deadline, it’s what they didn’t do. They didn’t trade forward Artemi Panarin or goalie Sergei Bobrovsky - both marquee players, both become unrestricted free agents July 1. In essence, Columbus is treating Panarin and Bobrovsky as their own rental players.
If they don’t win the Cup, Kekalainen could lose Panarin, Bobrovsky, Dzingel, Duchene and McQuaid all to unrestricted free agency. No pressure there.
Columbus is currently at +2000 to win the Cup at DraftKings. Expect that to change soon.
Vegas Golden Knights
The defending Western Conference champions had been quiet all day and then, whammo, they got arguably the biggest catch of all in Ottawa power forward Mark Stone.
Not only did they acquire the very good two-way winger, they immediately signed the would-be UFA to an eight-year contract extension. And, GM George McPhee didn’t even have to give up a core player from the current roster to get him (granted he did part with a very good prospect in defenseman Erik Brannstrom).
Stone instantly adds marquee talent to a group of forwards that already was one of the league’s best. The Golden Knight had been struggling some of late, so this is a move that could provide the needed jolt for another playoff run. Vegas had been +1500 to win the Cup at SugarHouse, but the odds should get better moving forward.
David Poile is rightly considered one of the best GMs of his time in the NHL - which goes all the way back to the 1970s.
But he’s yet to win a Stanley Cup.
Clearly he wants to win one, because just when it looked like the Preds might have gotten shut out of all the top players available, he pulled two rabbits out of the hat and landed Philadelphia power forward Wayne Simmonds and Minnesota forward Mikael Granlund.
Poile did have to part with roster forwards Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala to land Simmonds and Granlund, respectively, but I think the Preds are a better team now than they were Sunday. The Preds had been looking a bit stale of late, especially in a 5-0 home loss to Colorado on Saturday.
Simmonds is a serious grinder along the boards and in front of the net, while Granlund has very high skill. Granlund seemed stale in Minnesota, so a change should be good for him. Nashville sits at +1000 to win it all at 888Sport. Look for lower odds soon.
A recent slump no doubt contributed to Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff going out and getting Kevin Hayes as a rental from the New York Rangers, for Brendan Lemieux and two draft picks. Last year, the Jets got Paul Stastny as a rental, with good results, and Hayes makes for the same kind of replacement as a two-way centerman.
Winnipeg also made a couple other minor moves, but Hayes is the man who will be tasked with being the main missing piece to the club’s Cup hopes. Winnipeg has so many good young forwards, and even though he can be a UFA after the season, Hayes is still just 26. It’s going to be some kind of battle in the Western Conference playoffs, that’s for sure.
The Jets check in at +1100 to win the Cup at Resorts Casino, and no doubt their odds will improve now too.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Bolts did precisely nothing on deadline day this year. They’ve made two total trades this year, both for AHL talent. They remain the overwhelming favorite to win Lord Stanley, +325 on 888Sport.
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