The Colorado Avalanche capped off one of the most dominant NHL seasons by winning its first Stanley Cup in over two decades. The Avalanche dethroned the two-time defending champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in six games. Now, the 2023 Stanley Cup outrights heavily favor Colorado to repeat as champions. The Avs are listed at +450 to win it all next season per the Stanley Cup betting odds. It’s too early, but who’s betting against them?
|Rot||Odds to win 2023 Stanley Cup||Moneyline|
|2003||Vegas Golden Knights||+1200|
|2005||Tampa Bay Lightning||+1200|
|2006||Toronto Maple Leafs||+900|
|2008||New Jersey Devils||+1600|
|2011||New York Rangers||+1800|
|2015||Los Angeles Kings||+3300|
|2016||New York Islanders||+7000|
|2018||St. Louis Blues||+10000|
|2021||Detroit Red Wings||+25000|
|2028||Columbus Blue Jackets||+100000|
|2031||San Jose Sharks||+100000|
The Avalanche Are Just Getting Started
Many claim the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in all of the sports. Fooey. We’ve seen two teams, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, repeat as champions in the last seven years. Why not the Avalanche? The 2023 Stanley Cup outrights have Colorado way ahead of the next best team in Tampa Bay at +800. The next team in their conference is Vegas at a distant +1400.
What the odds indicate is that Colorado is just miles above everyone else. The Avalanche don’t need to lose any significant players on their team, unlike past champions who had to make salary-cap sacrifices. The likes of Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen are signed until at least the end of the 2024-25 season.
Colorado has a projected cap space of over $25 million heading to next season, which gives them plenty of room to re-sign pending free agents like Andre Burakovsky, Darcy Kuemper, and Nazem Kadri. Nathan MacKinnon also enters the final year of his contract and will command a sizable pay increase. All-in-all, expect most of Colorado’s core to return, thus making them the rightful favorites.
Tampa Barely Leads the Rising Eastern Conference
For the past three years, the Lightning has had big bullseyes on its backs. The entire conference built teams with the sole purpose of taking out the seemingly unbeatable team. The Toronto Maple Leafs almost did it and they came closest in the conference, losing to Tampa in seven games.
Toronto is listed at +900, which is just behind Tampa’s odds per the 2023 Stanley Cup outrights. The Leafs have yet to win a playoff series with their current core but this team is making incremental improvements and it could finally pay off.
Florida, Tampa’s state “rival”, is next on the odds board at +1000. The Panthers were swept by the Lightning and received mixed reactions for their decision to hire Paul Maurice as a coach. But other than Colorado, Florida has been the best offensive team in the NHL. If it can develop a defense, it could be the best bet to come out of the East.
The rest of the contenders include Carolina (+1400), the Rangers (+2000), and Boston (+2000). These teams all fell short but can be expected to be shoo-ins for the playoffs next season. Bet on NHL games involving the trio as they remain popular picks.
The Rest of the West Gear Up For Colorado
As the new champions, the Avalanche can expect its conference rivals to gun for them. It starts with Vegas, which missed the playoffs thanks partly to injuries. The Golden Knights eliminated Colorado in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs and still have the same core of players from that team. Jack Eichel will get better playing a full season with the team and Vegas could be healthier this time.
A pair of Canadian teams in Edmonton (+1800) and Calgary (+1800) also have potent teams. In Edmonton’s case, it still needs goaltending and defensive depth while Calgary could lose a few star players given how many new contracts it needs to reward. The Flames do have a lot of projected cap room (over $26 million) though.
The Blues (+2000) were the only Western team to win games against Colorado in the playoffs. This team still has what it takes to go all the way, especially if it can stay healthy and get more consistent goaltending. Last but not least, the Minnesota Wild (+1800) could be another team to watch. As a young team, Minnesota has a solid foundation and is arguably the best 5v5 team outside Colorado.
Colorado is on top of the world and none of these teams seemingly hold a candle to the champs. But wait until the season starts and it could be a different story.Follow us on Twitter