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Why Odds Don’t Favor Canadian Teams Winning Stanley Cup

It’s been over 31 years since a NHL team from Canada last won the Stanley Cup. Never mind that Canadians, for the most part, still dominate hockey. And even if the best player in the world, Connor McDavid, plays for a Canadian franchise, the odds are unfavorable. According to the NHL’s latest lines, +225 means a Canadian team’s chances of winning the cup are just 30.8%. Why can’t Canadian teams do it?


Why Odds Don’t Favor Canadian Teams Winning Stanley Cup
Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche-Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Simple Math: 25 Dwarfs 7

We can write a novel of incendiary reasons as to why Canada’s NHL teams keep falling short of winning the Stanley Cup. But the main reason could be the most banal: There are only seven of them against 25 American teams. Just for that reason, it will be harder for a Canadian team to beat the NHL odds. And yet every season, a few manage to convince us they could do it.

This season, there will be four Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Edmonton has the shortest odds at +800 to win it all followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks at +1400 each. The Winnipeg Jets have the longest odds at +1600. So a bet online at +225 for one of the four to win it all could be viable, right?

Well, let’s do some quick math. Four Canadian teams out of 16 playoff squads means a 1-in-4 chance of one winning. Roughly, 25% converts to +300 on the online sports betting odds. This is not even factoring in the “quality” of the teams in the running. But judging by their odds, the Canadian teams are not underdogs with impossible odds. Hence, we are getting less than +300.

This is an oversimplified “argument.” A more valid reason why Canadian teams struggle to win the Stanley Cup is mainly due to Canadian players playing for non-Canadian teams.



Top Canadians Playing for American Teams

McDavid is the best player in the NHL right now. But Nathan MacKinnon is not too far behind and he’s the favorite to win the Hart Trophy award at -275. He has a career-best 133 points and has 17 more goals than McDavid (48 vs 31). More notably, he plays for Colorado, which is just ahead of Edmonton in the Western Conference standings.

MacKinnon leads a slew of elite Canadian talent playing for American teams. His teammate, Cale Makar, is considered the best defenseman in the NHL. Eight of the top 10 Canadian scoring leaders in the NHL play for American teams.

But even if a Canadian team did feature a good chunk of the best Canadians, it is still not a guaranteed NHL pick to win. After all, the rest of the world, particularly the United States, is catching up to Canada in terms of hockey.



Americans Conquering the Ice

In the minds of many pundits, it’s not a question of “if” but “when” America finally supplants Canada atop the hockey world. We’ve come a long way from when Mike Modano was America’s best hockey player. He may not even be considered top 10 now and this is not an exaggeration.

Six of the NHL’s top 25 scorers now are American. Toronto’s Auston Matthews is going to win his third Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer. He may even be the first to hit the 70-goal mark in over 30 years.

The Vezina Trophy and Norris Trophy, the awards for the league’s best goaltender and defenseman, respectively, are also going to Americans. Connor Hellebuyck of the Jets is -1200 to win the Vezina while Quinn Hughes of the Canucks is -650 to capture the Norris.

These three American stars, ironically (in terms of our points), play for Canadian teams. So while we don’t like the Canadian teams’ odds of winning the Stanley Cup, it may be American players who prove us wrong.



Questions Of The Day

Will a Canadian NHL team win the Stanley Cup in 2024?

Canadian teams may cash per NHL predictions tonight. But the odds of one winning the Stanley Cup in 2024 seem distant.

Which NHL team has the best odds to win the Stanley Cup?

At 14-1 each, either Toronto or Vancouver may have the best “value” out of the playoff teams.

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