Barring something dramatic along the way, the 2022-23 season will start fairly similarly to how the 2021-22 season began with the Colorado Avalanche as the favorites in the sportsbook.
We now how that turned out but should those who bet online be backing them again? Let’s take a look at the biggest movers and shakers.
On The Rise
Opening Odds: +1600
One of the biggest winners of the offseason was the Hurricanes, who have a strong core of Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Alexander Svechnikov and Jaccob Slavin. To that, they added a big piece in Max Pacioretty, whom the Vegas Golden Knights were mostly dumping due to salary cap constraints. Carolina entered the offseason with close to $20 million in cap space, so it was more than happy to make this work.
Carolina won the Metropolitan Division last season and finished with 116 points, just six short of the Presidents’ Trophy. This is a well-coached, quality team that got better in the offseason, which is why their NHL odds shortened.
Opening Odds: +7500
The Senators were one of the surprise winners of the offseason as they made a number of shrewd moves. They added the likes of Alex DeBrincat, Claude Giroux and Cam Talbot, who are veterans that will give this young roster a boost.
This team now has a pair of really dangerous forward lines with Giroux, DeBrincat, Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson, Josh Norris and Tim Stutzle.
The blue line could still use some help but this team has moved into the playoff contender range. Maybe the Senators not worth a bet to win it all at 60-1 but they’re worth considering for all sorts of other NHL futures.
On The Decline
New York Rangers
Opening Odds: +1200
The Rangers are a quality young team that figures to only get better with another year of seasoning. They eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs and made it to the second round. That’s great for where their expectations were.
The challenge is that their success is now tied to internal growth as they weren’t able to keep everyone around. What would have been nice is if they could have bolstered this lineup and propelled them higher. Instead, we’re left to wonder.
The team lost Ryan Strome to the Anaheim Ducks and he’ll also be joined there by another former Ranger in Frank Vatrano. This duo combined for 67 points. That will hurt New York’s offense.
The team also lost center Andrew Copp, who had 18 points in 16 games. It’s hard to make a case that this Rangers team is better off now.
New Jersey Devils
Opening Odds: +6000
The Devils finished with just 63 points last season, but the thinking was that with a high draft pick and a big score in free agency, this team could quickly turn things around. For a while, it looked like that would be the case as Johnny Gaudreau was interested in a move to New Jersey.
However, the team missed out on Gaudreau and then didn’t get Juraj Slafkovsky at the draft, either. Neither puts this team over the top, but this roster has a lot of quality young players.
This could have been one of the most appealing, developing rosters. Instead, they missed out on Gaudreau and Slafkovsky and their odds have tumbled.