The Stanley Cup has been awarded. The awards have been handed out, Connor McDavid was one vote short of a unanimous Hart Trophy, and the 2023 NHL Draft has been completed. Sidney Crosby and McDavid will soon have company as generational talents taken atop the draft as the Chicago Blackhawks selected Connor Bedard Wednesday.
To turn the page to the 2023-24 NHL season, the NHL free agent frenzy begins at noon Saturday, though a few deals usually leak out before then, too. If you want to get a jump on the 2024 Stanley Cup, the latest NHL odds provide a few values and a few teams that were once favorites sliding deep into the pack.
Did you think you’d see the Pittsburgh Penguins at 39-1 to win a Stanley Cup?
With a few early moves, including trading Alex Newhook to the Montreal Canadiens for first and second-round draft picks, then acquiring Ross Colton, the Avalanche are gearing up for another Cup run, and oddsmakers have noticed. Despite getting bounced in Round One by the Seattle Kraken, the Avalanche have opened as +900 favorites.
Seven teams rank ahead of the Boston Bruins, who are currently clocking at +1400. They’re behind division rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs +1100 and the Florida Panthers (+1200), who squeaked into the playoffs before an epic run to the Stanley Cup Final.
It does not bode well for the Bruins that three of the top eight favorites are Atlantic Division foes, and the Tampa Bay Lightning are evenly tiered with the Bruins at +1400. The young and on-the-rise Buffalo Sabres are well back at +3900. Perhaps if they added proven goaltending, their odds would improve greatly.
For what it’s worth, the Vegas Golden Knights were a long shot to win the Cup last summer. After missing the playoffs, the VGK were +1900.
This year, with a little irony, the Blackhawks and Bedard are 99-1 to win the Cup.
The top four teams in the Atlantic are suggestive favorites, but the Eastern Conference’s other division is a little more wide-open. The Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils are well in front of the rest of the Metro Division. The Rangers are +1900, and the Islanders fell to +4900.
The Bruins have a few personnel issues to deal with. Of course, Patrice Bergeron’s health and immediate future are front and center, but also the free agency of Tyler Bertuzzi and Dmitri Orlov. Both played incredibly well for the Bruins after being acquired near the NHL trade deadline. However, both are unrestricted free agents on Saturday. Bruins GM Don Sweeney cleared cap space earlier this week when he traded Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno to the Chicago Blackhawks.
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The Bruins’ roster upheaval could be significant. Bergeron is considering retirement, and Krejci is likely headed back to Czechia, leaving the Bruins with a major hole in the middle but still dealing with the $4.5 million cap overage from last season.
The Bruins are also +700 to win the Eastern Conference. Toronto and New Jersey are the early favorites to touch (or not touch) the Prince of Wales Trophy and play in the Stanley Cup Final. Toronto is going off at +500, and the New Jersey Devils are posting at +550 to win the East.
The Bruins are +400 to win the Atlantic Division.