- The 2022-2023 NHL season is here as the Colorado Avalanche aim for a second consecutive NHL title.
- The Avalanche enter the season as the favorites (+429) and are far ahead of the next two: Toronto Maple Leafs +870 and Carolina Hurricanes +934.
- The New York Rangers enter the season as one of the most intriguing underdogs, coming in at +1404, but the Los Angeles Kings are an even bigger sleeper at +2500.
The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2022 Stanley Cup. The Avalanche entered the season as the favorites a year ago, and they enter the season as the far and away favorites in 2022-2023 as well.
Let’s examine five favorites and one underdog pick for this year’s 2022-2023 Stanley Cup.
Odds to Win Stanley Cup 2023
Colorado Avalanche: +429
To no surprise, the Avalanche enter the season as the favorites — by a long shot. Colorado returns Cale Makar, who won the Conn Smythe and Norris Award’s last year. On top of that, they return the following players: Nathan McKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Valeri Nichushkin. The Avs did lose some players in free agency, but their main core is back and a second straight Stanley Cup trophy is right in front of them.
Toronto Maple Leafs +870
The Maple Leafs lost in the first round of last year’s playoffs. However, they lost to the Lightning, who ended up facing the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Maple Leafs return a lot of players as well, including Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Ilya Samsonov and Matt Murray.
However, the Maple Leafs just can’t get past the first round: They haven’t made it past the first round since 2004. Could this be the year? If so, they are strong favorites to hoist the Cup.
Carolina Hurricanes +934
The Hurricanes lost to the New York Rangers in the playoffs last year. That’s the bad news. The good news is they returned Sebastian Aho and defenseman Jaccob Slavin and still have NHL great Rod Brind’Amour running the show.
The Hurricanes didn’t just sit around. They added Max Pacioretty from the Las Vegas Golden Knights, who is expoected to miss the first chunk of the season as he recovers from a torn Achilles. The Hurricanes also brought in Brent Burns and are the favorites to win the Metro again, something they did for the first time last year.
Florida Panthers +948
The Panthers finally did it: They won their first playoff series since the 1990’s. Unfortunately, the Lightning swept them as part of their run to the Stanley Cup.
The Panthers made the biggest move of the summer, acquiring Matthew Tkachuk from the Calgary Flames and trading away leading scorer Jonathan Huberdeau. The Panthers also brought in a new head coach, Paul Maurice.
The Panthers are one of the favorites for a reason, and a solid team to bet on to win the entire thing.
Tampa Bay Lightning +1154
The Lightning gave the Avalanche a run for their money in the Stanley Cup, but Colorado was the favorite for a reason.
In 2022-2023, it might be surprising to see the Lightning this far down the favorites list. Tampa Bay is aiming for its fourth straight trip to the finals, and having a core of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy definitely helps.
One major blow lost Ondrej Palat to the Detroit Red Wings, so that hurts. But, the Lightning are aiming to be the first team to make four straight Stanley Cup Finals since the New York Islanders did so from 1980-1984. It won’t be easy, but if anybody can do it, it’s the Lightning.
Underdog: Los Angeles Kings +2500
This is a big underdog, but that’s the fun part about it.
The Kings made things interesting last year but ultimately lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round. However, they are led by Anze Kopitar, Adrian Kempe, Quinton Byfield and newly signed wing Kevin Fiala, so the Kings can definitely piece things together to make a run.
LA also has Drew Doughty and goalie Jonathan Quick on the roster still, so that helps, and the Pacific Division is literally a toss-up this season. If the Kings win the Pacific, they could be a threat to win the entire Stanley Cup. At +5000 odds, it’s definitely worth placing $10 on.
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