Welcome to the NHL offseason, now let’s take a look at next season.
The St. Louis Blues capped off an incredible turnaround Wednesday night as they won the Stanley Cup in seven games after being one of the league’s worst teams at the midway point.
In fact, one Blues fan even cashed in big by placing a $400 bet at 250-to-1 to win $100,000. Not bad.
How are things shaping up for next season? Flyers fans, we don’t have great news to report out of Las Vegas as it looks like it could be another uphill battle. The Flyers are listed at 28-to-1 with the 17th best odds to win the Cup.
Given where the team has finished the past few seasons and the lack of transformational talent available on the free-agent market this offseason, the Flyers seem accurately positioned in the middle of the NHL, ninth in the Eastern Conference. That would, however, have them on the outside looking in on the playoffs in Alain Vigneault’s first season at the helm.
There’s reason to believe that the Flyers underachieved last season and could come back stronger, with a full season of Carter Hart in net, so while I think 17th is a tad harsh, it doesn’t feel like 28-to-1 to win the cup has tremendous value.
The Blues, who ended their 52-year wait to lift Lord Stanley, are at 13-to-1, the worst odds for a defending champion since 1985.
The Flyers now hold the league’s fourth-largest title drought, dating back to 1975, and the team with the league’s longest drought, the Toronto Maple Leafs, has the second-best odds to quench its thirst at 9-to-1.
For now, we’ll wait to see what the Flyers do with the 11th pick in the NHL draft, see if they can add a little in free agency or pull off some sort of blockbuster trade. We’ll see the puck drop next, for real, in Prague, Czech Republic on Oct. 4.
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