The 2021 season is young, but front-runners have already emerged.
By Benjamin Meglin
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (7-1)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +600
Extending Patrick Maroon’s contract to a two-year deal was a big part of Tampa Bay’s offseason. Although the Lightning didn’t get the free agent interest they expected, they are still a strong contender for a possible three-peat.
2. Vegas Golden Knights (9-7)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +700
The Golden Knights have had several years of good playoff runs and their players have worked hard every season to battle their way through the brackets. After recently signing goalie Marc Andre Fleury, the Knights have a stronger defense and depth on the bench as well.
3. Dallas Stars (9-5)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +850
Having just lost to the Lightning in the Stanley Cup this past year, the Stars have potential to make a deep playoff run and make it to the cup again. Signing young forwards to their roster was a great move for the team, but Dallas still has yet to get their hands on another star to give them the boost they need.
4. Colorado Avalanche (11-7)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +950
The Avalanche had an active offseason, completing many trades to give them depth on the bench and a stroger starting lineup. The recent addition of former Islanders Defenseman Devon Toews was a positive one, which fills in their defensive area. Alex Newhook has recently been dominating for team Canada and is looking to start the season with a starting spot on the squad.
5. New York Islanders (10-4)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +1000
We know the Islanders offseason is not done until they sign Mathew Barzal to a new contract. While operating tight against the cap has led to some casualties (namely trading Devon Toews to Colorado) the best move so far was signing Ryan Pulock, an all star caliber defenseman, to a two-year, $5 million deal.
6. Boston Bruins (8-1)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +1100
Craig Smith’s latest contract has him staying in Boston for 3 years/10 M$, But the Bruins have been looking for more free agents and depth in their defensive system. Smith should fit into the line up pretty well. This was an A+ move by the Bruins.
7. Washington Capitals (6-3)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +1600
The Capitals made a smart move by signing Henrik Lundqvist to a low veteran deal. Not only did the contract take up very little cap space, but it opens up their roster for another free agent to sign in the future.
8. Philadelphia Flyers (8-3)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +1600
The Flyers have yet to do anything this offseason, which is why they are lower on the list than others. They have a deep rotation, except they just need young players to lead the old veteran squad to the cup.
9. Carolina Hurricanes (7-2)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +2500
With the signing of many young players on the Hurricanes roster, Carolina made itself up to the top ten with a young rotation and a brilliant coach in Rod Brind’ Amour. Hurricanes fans should be excited for this upcoming NHL season, as they have a great chance at a long playoff run.
10. Toronto Maple Leafs (9-2)
2021 Stanley Cup odds: +2100
As Captain John Tavares starts to age more, Toronto’s roster is filled with many veterans and older players. Young talent is on the team, but we have yet to see what they are capable of. With the recent firing of head coach Mike Babcock, the Maple Leafs season is questionable.
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