2013 Stanley Cup Odds
Thirty teams start out the NHL season with a mathematical chance to win Lord Stanley's Cup. Realistically, there are only about half a dozen or so that have a chance. Here's how they stack up:
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30. Phoenix Coyotes +10500 - Have you ever bet on a team with the highest odds to win a championship and actually expected to win? This year's Phoenix team is no different. Still three to four years away from the playoffs, coach Wayne Gretzky will find it very difficult to garner wins, especially in their division.
29. Columbus Blue Jackets +8500 - If you heard MC Hammer on the radio right now, you'd want Sergei Fedorov. That would mean that we were living sometime in the mid-1990s and Fedorov would be wreaking havoc on defenses and goaltenders, compiling a gaudy amount of goals and assists. But no one wears parachute pants anymore, and Fedorov has seen better days. The woes continue for the Jackets, missing the playoffs once again.
28. Chicago Blackhawks +8500 - They haven't won a cup since 1961. No luck this year, once again.
27. Washington Capitals +6500 - Optimism for the future is great, but it won't help in the standings today.
26. Edmonton Oilers +6500 - The lowest scoring team in 2006-07 will try and rebound from a terrible year. They tried to pick up the high scoring left winger from Buffalo, Thomas Vanek, but the Sabres matched their offer. Michael Nylander was almost an Oiler too, but he ended up signing with Washington. Not a good start if you live in Alberta's capital city.
25. St. Louis Blues +5500 - If this team is anywhere near playoff contention by the time March rolls around, you can count them out after a brutal nine-game road trip, which includes Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim.
24. Los Angeles Kings +5400 - Only one team had fewer wins than Los Angeles did last season. The defense is supposedly improved, but anything short of putting up a concrete blockade in front of the net is not going to help the Kings.
23. Boston Bruins +5000 - The newly acquired Manny Fernandez may be one of the only bright spots this season.
22. New York Islanders +4700 - They play in a quickly improving division and lost Alexei Yashin and Ryan Smyth. They won't slip into the playoffs via shootout this year.
21. Florida Panthers +4100 - What do you get when you mix South Florida with hockey players no one knows? You get a team that misses the playoffs year after year.
20. Montreal Canadians +3100 - With no high powered free agent scorers joining the club this year, the Habs will yet again find it tough to score. For those of you that are new to this sport, if you can't score, you can't win.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning +2500 - Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis can get them to the playoffs. Once they get there, goaltending will keep them from lifting the cup.
18. Carolina Hurricanes +2500 - Only a year removed from their Stanley Cup championship, the Canes could be a sleeper to go deep in this year's march towards that Cup. If goaltender Cam Ward and center Eric Staal can return to their dominant form of their title season, this team could surprise many.
17. Atlanta Thrashers +2400 - After getting rolled by the New York Rangers in four games in the first round of last year's playoffs, many questions have been raised concerning goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Stay away from the Thrash at all costs this year if they have doubts in their puck stopping abilities; much like the NFL, defense wins championships.
16. Dallas Stars +2100 - Stars were outscored by almost 50 goals by the Avalanche last season. "No big deal," you say? Dallas was the No. 6 seed in the playoffs, while Colorado missed them altogether. Unless they get a scorer of Paris Hilton-like proportions, they will not go very far in the postseason yet again.
15. New Jersey Devils +2100 - Aside from the 4-1 series loss to the Senators, Martin Brodeur's last season was stellar. But only if he stands on his head (not literally) will they have a chance to go far in the playoffs. The loss of Brian Rafalski and Scott Gomez, along with the addition of new head coach Brent Sutter will make it tough for Jersey to advance without Brodeur's help.
14. Minnesota Wild +2100 - A big question for the Wild this year is if the loss of goaltender Manny Fernandez will affect the team. Niklas Backstrom, the new net minder for the Wild, played in only half the games last year, but managed 23 wins. If he can improve on that percentage just slightly, this team could find itself moving past the first round or more.
13. Toronto Maple Leafs +2000 - These odds are way too low for a team that is so dysfunctional, especially playing in a division with Ottawa and Buffalo.
12. Nashville Predators +1700 - Their 110 points last year would have gotten them a No. 2 seed if someone moved the state of Tennessee a few hundred miles towards the Atlantic. In the Western Conference though, it got them a No. 4. The odds seem pretty good for a team with that much talent, but there's a reason for that. The loss of Paul Kariya hurts, as does the ownership problems this franchise is currently going through. They may make the back pages this winter, but for the wrong reasons.
11. Pittsburgh Penguins +1500 - This team is beginning to take form, with a few talented young stars and some vets that will teach them how to shave (or grow the much heralded playoff beard). Sid the Kid will hoist one or more Cups in his day, but it won't be a day in June of 2013.
10. Vancouver Canucks +1500 - Goaltender Roberto Luongo can only do so much. He can keep games close, but you can't win a playoff contest, 0-0...you need to score. It doesn't look like this team has added the necessary firepower needed to make a deep run in the playoffs, especially if Luongo has an off-night.
9. Colorado Avalanche +1500 - This is not your typical team coming off a season of missing the playoffs. Since 1995, you may as well have penciled them into April, just as until recently you penciled in the Atlanta Braves as NL East champs. The will be back, with newly acquired winger Ryan Smyth there to increase the team's already potent offense.
8. Calgary Flames +1500 - The biggest addition to this team is behind the bench. Mike Keenan's finest moment was no doubt brining a Stanley Cup to Broadway, ending the New York Ranger's 54-year curse. Thirteen years later, he's trying to bring a Cup to Calgary. No way. That Rangers team had vastly more talent than this Flames one does, and coaching wasn't as paramount as it is in this situation. Keenan isn't Scotty Bowman, and simply will not get this job done.
7. Philadelphia Flyers +1000 - Last season was an anomaly, as they finished dead last in the Eastern Conference; this team normally doesn't miss the playoffs. Daniel Briere will add much-needed scoring to a team that was down towards the bottom of the league in goals per game.
6. Buffalo Sabres + 950 - Losses of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere take a major toll on the Sabres this season, but this team still has enough scorers on it to make a lengthy playoff run. Maxim Afinogenov had a career goal-per-game average of just over 20 percent, but went over 40 percent last season, and Thomas Vanek should have the opportunity for more points with Drury and Briere gone. If those two can step up, Buffalo could find itself in a final.
5. New York Rangers +900 - With the additions of Chris Drury and the aforementioned Scott Gomez, Brendan Shanahan and Jaromir Jagr now have some help on the ice to light the lamp. Throw in a healthy Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, and you have a Stanley Cup contender with some great value at this number.
4. San Jose Sharks +750 - Only one player outscored the Shark's Joe Thornton last year. He and the rest of the team will try and make their playoff push with many of the same players as last season. That consistency, along with having the most regular season road wins last year, is promising. It's good to be able to win at home, but stealing games on the road during playoff time is critical to bringing home a Cup.
3. Detroit Red Wings +725 - The Red Wings tied Buffalo for the most regular season points last year. This was no small feat, considering Dominik Hasek, now age 42 (no, that's not a typo), had 38 wins in 56 games. It's hard to go with a team with a goaltender of that age, but how can you not? He certainly has the experience and the team behind him to be knocking away pucks and knocking down the bubbly come June.
2. Ottawa Senators +675 - Don't be fooled by a coaching change here. Bryan Murray, last year's head coach moved up to general manager as assistant coach John Paddock assumed head coaching responsibilities. This means both know the system well. A mostly weak division and many returning players also make the team from Canada's capital city the one to beat in the Eastern Conference.
1. Anaheim Ducks +500 - No one has repeated as Stanley Cup champions in 10 years. In the 1997 and 1998 finals, the Red Wings didn't lose a game in either series. This Ducks team is solid, but they aren't like those Detroit teams and they come in with some question marks. The biggest one may be if defenseman Scott Niedermayer will retire, or come back for yet another season. They may be slightly overrated here, so be wary of this wager.