Stanley Cup championship odds: Who helped or hurt their chances this offseason?

A lot has happened since the Avalanche hoisted the Stanley Cup on June 26. There have been 352 contracts signed in the NHL, and 25 trades — excluding the draft-day pick swaps — with many of them reshaping the landscape for the 2022-23 season .

Hart Trophy candidate Johnny Gaudreau shocked the hockey world by signing in Columbus, which started a chain reaction that landed Matthew Tkachuk in Florida and Jonathan Huberdeau — who finished just behind Gaudreau for the Hart — in Calgary. Goalies changed seats like a game of musical chairs, and nearly a third of the league has a new coach heading into this season. There are still some changes coming (cough, cough … Nazem Kadri and John Klingberg) but the dust has mostly settled on an NHL offseason that was wilder than most.

Now that we have a better picture of how each team will look heading into next season, it’s time to ask: Which teams improved or hurt their championship aspirations the most this summer? To quantify that, we’ve compared each team’s Stanley Cup odds, courtesy of BetMGM, from June 26 to now. This obviously isn’t a perfect representation of which teams got better or worse, but it’s a glimpse into how oddsmakers and the betting public view each club’s offseason maneuvers.

Because every dollar on the money line isn’t equal, we’ll be using “implied odds” for each team, which converts their odds into a percentage. For example, the Colorado Avalanche have the best odds to win the 2022-23 Cup at +425, which translates to a 19.5 percent chance. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have the worst odds at +50000, which translates to a 0.2 percent chance.

Using this method accounts for the larger line movement by teams with longshot odds. A team like Columbus going from +10,000 to +8,000 is a 1,000-point shift in the odds, but in actuality, it only improves their implied percentage of winning the Cup from 0.99 to 1.23 percent. Meanwhile, Colorado improved from +450 to +425. That’s only a shift of 25 points on the odds, but the implied percent of the Avalanche winning the Cup went from 18.18 to 19.05 percent — a much larger increase than for Columbus.

Over the last month, there were nine teams that improved their odds, 11 that had their odds decreased and 12 that saw their odds remain exactly the same. The full chart is at the bottom. First, we’ll examine the top five on each end of the spectrum, starting with those whose odds improved the most.


1. Florida Panthers

June 26 odds: +1000 (9.09%)
Current odds: +900 (10.00%)
Percent change: 0.91%

High-profile moves probably influence the betting market more than they should, and this could be a perfect example. The Panthers entered the offseason with the fourth-best odds of winning next year’s Cup, and have done more to improve their chances than any other team in the NHL according to the odds.

It’s a bit strange to see Florida atop this list considering it lost its leading scorer in Huberdeau and several key pieces in forwards Claude Giroux and Mason Marchment, and defensemen MacKenzie Weegar and Ben Chiarot this summer. The Panthers obviously added another star in Tkachuk, as well as a few depth forwards in Nick Cousins ​​and Colin White, but to say they’ve had the best offseason is a stretch.

Nothing fuels future bets in the summer more than a blockbuster acquisition, and Tkachuk is definitely that.

2. Colorado Avalanche

June 26 odds: +450 (18.18%)
Current odds: +425 (19.05%)
Percent change: 0.87%

The improvement in Colorado’s odds this summer wasn’t due to actual improvements to the roster. Colorado got weaker in net, losing Darcy Kuemper to Washington and quickly replacing him with Alexandar Georgiev. It also lost forwards Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Andre Burakovsky to free agency, and could still lose Kadri.

There is a chance bettors are banking on Colorado’s young stars taking their game to yet another level, but this change in odds is more likely due to the lack of improvement from the teams around the Avalanche. The top three teams entering the offseason all improved their odds despite making little-to-no upgrades. That suggests no team below them made enough improvements to catch them, causing the market to honey in further on the favorites.

3. Ottawa Senators

June 26 odds: +8000 (1.23%)
Current odds: +5000 (1.96%)
Percent change: 0.73%

What a summer it’s been for the Senators. General manager Pierre Dorion added two impact players in Alex DeBrincat and Giroux and potentially improved his goaltending with a cheaper starting option. The trade for DeBrincat alone would’ve made this a winning offseason for the Senators, adding the 24-year-old coming off an impressive 41-goal season for only a handful of draft picks. Signing the hometown veteran in Giroux could turn out to be an excellent free agency move, and swapping Matt Murray for Cam Talbot in net should improve Ottawa’s goaltending. Talbot has out-performed Murray in each of the last three years in save percentage and goals saved above average, but will carry only a $3.6 million cap hit.

Those moves resulted in a 0.73 percent swing in odds for Ottawa, improving from 80-to-1 to win it all to 50-to-1. The Senators are still obviously a longshot, but now have the fifth-best odds of winning the Atlantic Division despite finishing above only Montreal in 2021-22.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

June 26 odds: +850 (10.53%)
Current odds: +800 (11.11%)
Percent change: 0.58%

Toronto has had a busy offseason, losing several contributors from down the lineup last year while adding two new goals and a few new depth pieces through free agency. Perhaps this shift in odds is due to a confidence that Matt Murray will return to his 2016 form, or maybe bettors like the Leafs’ under-the-radar moves such as signing Aube-Kubel and Calle Jarnkrok. Either way, Toronto remains amongst the favorites entering next season.

5. New York Rangers

June 26 odds: +2000 (4.76%)
Current odds: +1800 (5.26%)
Percent change: 0.50%

The Rangers lost forwards Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp via free agency, but replaced them by Vincent Trocheck. He’ll be reunited with Gerard Gallant, who coached him in several of the best offensive seasons of his career in Florida.

The betting public’s support of the Rangers likely has more to do with their developing young talent rather than actual offseason acquisitions. Watching Adam Fox, Filip Chytil, Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller, Kaapo Kakko and Ryan Lindgren (all under the age of 24) play as well as they did in the postseason paints a bright future in New York.


Vincent Trocheck. (Danny Wild / USA Today)

Now for the five teams that hurt their 2022-23 Cup odds the most this summer:

1. Calgary Flames

June 26 odds: +1800 (5.26%)
Current odds: +2200 (4.35%)
Percent change: -0.91%

General manager Brad Treliving did an incredible job to secure the return he did for Tkachuk, considering the circumstances, but there’s no denying the Flames are in a worse spot after losing its two leading scorers from a year ago.

Tkachuk and Gaudreau combined for 82 goals in 2021-22, more than 28 percent of the team’s total. Even after they acquired Huberdeau and Weegar, it’s easy to see why the betting market is bearish on the Flames.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

June 26 odds: +900 (10.00%)
Current odds: +1000 (9.09%)
Percent change: -0.91%

The Lightning are still projected to contend for yet another Cup, but their salary-cap issues are slowly chipping away at their stacked roster. GM Julien BriseBois did well to lock up Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak to long-term deals, but they lost two cornerstones in the dressing room in order to do so. With Ryan McDonagh and Ondrej Palat both heading out the door, Tampa Bay has questions to be answered.

Even with the 0.91 percent slip, the Lightning still have the fourth-best odds to win it all in 2022-23.

3. Philadelphia Flyers

June 26 odds: +6600 (1.49%)
Current odds: +15000 (0.66%)
Percent change: -0.91%

Entering the offseason, the Flyers were close to the middle of the pack in terms of odds to win the 2022-23 Cup (ranked 23rd in the league at 66-to-1). After trading for Tony DeAngelo, inking him to a $10 million contract and missing out on the hometown hero (Gaudreau), the Flyers’ odds have fallen to the sixth-worst in the NHL.

4. Chicago Blackhawks

June 26 odds: +10000 (0.99%)
Current odds: +50000 (0.20%)
Percent change: -0.79%

The Blackhawks entered the offseason as 100-to-1 longshots and still managed to get demonstrably worse. The list of players Chicago lost goes on and on. DeBrincat and Kirby Dach are the big two, but the Blackhawks also said goodbye to depth forwards Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik, and defenseman Calvin de Haan.

A month ago, the Blackhawks had the fourth-worst odds. Now they’re tied with the Coyotes for the very worst odds in the NHL at 500-to-1.

5. St. Louis Blues

June 26 odds: +2200 (4.35%)
Current odds: +2500 (3.85%)
Percent change: -0.50%

It’s been a quiet offseason in St. Louis. The Blues watched one of their top scorers (David Perron) and their No. 1 goaltender for most of the last season (Ville Husso) walk out the door, but didn’t add much to replace them. It’s easy to see why the Blues’ odds have slipped over the past month, especially now that they’re out of the Tkachuk sweepstakes.

Here’s how the odds changed for every team in the league over the last month:

Team

6/26

Current

Change

9.09%

10.00%

0.91%

18.18%

19.05%

0.87%

1.23%

1.96%

0.73%

10.53%

11.11%

0.58%

NY Rangers

4.76%

5.26%

0.50%

1.96%

2.44%

0.48%

2.44%

2.78%

0.34%

1.23%

1.49%

0.26%

0.99%

1.23%

0.24%

7.69%

7.69%

0%

6.67%

6.67%

0%

5.88%

5.88%

0%

5.26%

5.26%

0%

4.76%

4.76%

0%

NY Islanders

3.23%

3.23%

0%

2.78%

2.78%

0%

2.44%

2.44%

0%

1.96%

1.96%

0%

1.96%

1.96%

0%

0.66%

0.66%

0%

0.20%

0.20%

0%

0.79%

0.66%

-0.13%

1.23%

0.99%

-0.24%

1.49%

1.23%

-0.26%

1.49%

1.23%

-0.26%

0.99%

0.66%

-0.33%

3.85%

3.45%

-0.40%

4.35%

3.85%

-0.50%

0.99%

0.20%

-0.79%

1.49%

0.66%

-0.83%

10.00%

9.09%

-0.91%

5.26%

4.35%

-0.91%

(Top photo of Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly and Mitch Marner: Dan Hamilton / USA Today)

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