The 2020 NHL Draft and free agency have come and gone, so we now have a fairly good idea of what the rosters will look like in the coming seasons. There was a lot of movement in terms of the personnel and as a result, the online betting odds have shifted around. Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers in free agency and check-in on their updated NHL odds.
Vegas Golden Knights
There are many trepidations to be had with signing Alex Pietrangelo to such a long-term deal – it might not age well as the 30-year-old will be around for seven years at $8.8 million – but in the short term, the Vegas Golden Knights are going all in. This is a guy who has piled up 450 points in over 700 games. He’s one of the best two-way defensemen in the game. The Golden Knights are making it very clear that they are going all-in this season.
The futures have reflected as much as the Colorado Avalanche originally opened as the favorite to win the Western Conference but now that Golden Knights are co-favorites with them at +350. All of the other teams are at +900 or longer.
Detroit Red Wings
You might want to avoid the Red Wings in terms of odds to win the conference. They’re still the longest shot in the Eastern Conference at +8000. Even so, they did have a positive offseason and deserve some credit. The Red Wings picked up Bobby Ryan to a team-friendly one-year deal for $1 million and then also added Vladislav Namestnikov, who should also push the offense in the right direction. With Steve Yzerman running the front office, this team might offer some value on a regular season win total (to bet the over).
While the Coyotes lost Hall, the Sabres saw him land into their laps. They didn’t have to sign him to any type of long-term deal either as all it took was a one-year, $8 million investment. The Sabres could now be a very dangerous team offensively with Jack Eichel, Eric Staal and Cody Eakin. Sure, it feels like people have been optimistic about the Sabres in the offseason and been burned before. That could happen again but they’ve still made some shrewd moves. They’re at +3000 to win the East.
The Coyotes were shockingly a buyer at the trade deadline last season when the splurged for sniper Taylor Hall. The hope was that the Coyotes finally had a star to build around. Instead, he ended up being an expiring contract as they got absolutely nothing for him. They are now at 20/1 to win the Western Conference next season, according to the NHL lines.
The Bruins still have the second-shortest odds to win the East at +575 but they haven’t had a good offseason. This is a team that was mostly built around defense and goaltending, and they watched Torey Krug walk away and sign with the St. Louis Blues in free agency. On top of that, who knows what Zdeno Chara’s plans are. Jake Debrusk should be back but he’s a restricted free agent that remains unsigned.
It’s just odd for a team that’s normally known for keep their best players happy and maintaining a level of consistency.