Could Rangers 12/1 be the Best Stanley Cup Pick on the Board?

David Lawrence

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 6:40 PM GMT

Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash & Ryan McDonagh lead an impressive roster that has the potential to go all the way but a lot will have to go right for New York to win it all in the 2015-16 betting season.

The New York Rangers are coming off another excellent season in which they won the Presidents’ trophy and made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before they bowed out to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now the focus is getting back to where they were and getting another chance to contend for the Stanley Cup. The Rangers have reached the ECF in each of the last two seasons including a Stanley Cup Finals appearance two years ago and the franchise has done an excellent job maneuvering to stay under the salary cap while maintain the majority of their elite talent.

 

Rangers Offseason Changes
Notable Players In: Viktor Stalberg, Jarret Stoll, Anti Raanta, Emerson Etem

Notable Players Out: Carl Hagelin, Martin St. Louis, Cam Talbot

Veteran Martin St. Louis ended his career without much of a bang and the Rangers decided that they wanted to get a little bigger and a little younger so they traded Carl Hagelin to the Anaheim Ducks and brought in Emerson Etem. The most notable additions were Jarret Stoll as a defensive center that gives them even more depth down the middle and Viktor Stalberg, who could help provide some offense while playing a strong two-way game. Salary cap restraints also forced New York to trade backup goalie Cam Talbot to the Edmonton Oilers and they added former Chicago Blackhawks backup Anti Raanta to played behind Lundqvist this season.

 

Better Or Worse?
Another year of experience should help with the top six forwards staying intact including Nash, Derrick Brassard, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and J.T. Miller. Beyond that, they return an experienced group of defensemen led by McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Dan Boyle. Keith Yandle should be better after a full offseason with the team and will be relied on to spark the powerplay while there will be plenty of eyes on Nash to see if he can hit the 30-goal mark once again. Lundqvist isn’t getting any younger but he proved during last year’s playoffs that he can still perform at a very high level and as long as he can stay healthy then New York should be fine. The Rangers have all of the weapons to contend for the Stanley Cup and as long as they avoid the types of major injuries that can ruin a team’s season they should be in the mix among the true championship contenders.

 

Rangers Futures
Odds To Win Stanley Cup: 12/1

Odds To Win Eastern Conference: 19/4

New York is available at decent NHL odds to win the Stanley Cup but when you consider how loaded the Western Conference is the better value might be to take the Rangers to win the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay, Montreal, Pittsburgh and even the New York Islanders are expected to be in the mix in the East but the Rangers could very well be the best team in that group and they are coming off a Presidents’ trophy last year. The Rangers might be worth putting a little money on to win it all with your NHL picks but the smart money is on them to win the Eastern Conference once again in 2015-16.