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.

Author: Lucy Green