Almost as soon as the buzzer sounded and the Chicago Blackhawks were officially the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions thoughts shifted to next season. Some wondered how would the Hawks reshape their roster with $21M now committed to two players. Being Oilers fans we thought about the draft and joked that the Oilers are now on the clock. And Bovoda set some early odds for the next Stanley Cup Champion. And for once you don't have to look to the bottom to find the Oilers.
|New York Rangers||8/1|
|St. Louis Blues||12/1|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||12/1|
|Los Angeles Kings||14/1|
|New York Islanders||22/1|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||33/1|
|Detroit Red Wings||33/1|
|San Jose Sharks||40/1|
|New Jersey Devils||66/1|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||66/1|
And here are the same odds broken down by division. Again, look at where the Oilers are. I haven't seen anything like that in a while.
|Anaheim Ducks||10/1||Chicago Blackhawks||7/1||New York Rangers||8/1||Tampa Bay Lightning||12/1|
|Los Angeles Kings||14/1||St. Louis Blues||12/1||Pittsburgh Penguins||14/1||Montreal Canadiens||14/1|
|Edmonton Oilers||33/1||Minnesota Wild||14/1||Washington Capitals||18/1||Boston Bruins||16/1|
|Calgary Flames||40/1||Nashville Predators||16/1||New York Islanders||22/1||Detroit Red Wings||33/1|
|San Jose Sharks||40/1||Winnipeg Jets||25/1||Columbus Blue Jackets||33/1||Ottawa Senators||50/1|
|Vancouver Canucks||40/1||Colorado Avalanche||66/1||New Jersey Devils||66/1||Toronto Maple Leafs||66/1|
|Arizona Coyotes||100/1||Dallas Stars||66/1||Philadelphia Flyers||66/1||Florida Panthers||75/1|
|Carolina Hurricanes||100/1||Buffalo Sabres||100/1|
Some quick thoughts:
- The McDavid effect seems pretty substantial here. The two teams that finished below the Oilers in the standings last season still find themselves 100/1 long shots but the Oilers now find themselves right in the middle of the league. For that to happen they're going to have to do a lot more than draft McDavid.
- I sure wouldn't put money on Chicago to repeat, and not just because there hasn't been a repeat winner since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. Three Stanley Cups in six years is remarkable but the reality is right now there are probably more questions than answers about next year's Hawks team. How do they address their RFAs? With 30% of their cap space going to two players how do they make room for the ones that they do keep? Does playing 100 playoff games over the last six years catch up to them like it did the Kings this season?
- Now if someone gave me money (no way I'm using my own on a bet like this) I'd probably put it on the Canadiens. They've got a good team with some excellent pieces - P.K. Subban and Carey Price to name two - already in place, and it's hardly a stretch to envision them being a final four team next season. At 14/1 that's not all bad, if it's someone else's money.