Sneak Peek and Early Stanley Cup Futures Picks

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 3:08 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2016 3:08 PM UTC

Our NHL handicapping professional provides us with an early forecast for the upcoming 2016-2017 season which is still some ten weeks away.

<p>With the 2016 NHL entry draft completed, and free agency signings virtually over, it’s a good time to assess early 2017 Stanley Cup futures. Below are the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Compare Live NHL Odds From Top Sportsbooks">NHL betting odds</a> pertaining to this specific topic, and it comes courtesy of the good folks <a href=";book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="A+ Rated At Sportsbook Review">at Bovada</a>. These futures odds were last updated on 7/6/2016.</p><p>Pittsburgh Penguins  +900<br />Chicago Blackhawks  +950<br />Washington Capitals  +1000<br />Tampa Bay Lightning  +1000<br />Dallas Stars  +1200<br />St. Louis Blues  +1400<br />San Jose Sharks  +1400<br />Nashville Predators  +1400<br />Los Angeles Kings  +1600<br />Anaheim Ducks  +1600<br />Florida Panthers  +2000<br />Minnesota Wild  +2200<br />New York Rangers  +2200<br />Detroit Red Wings  +2500<br />New York Islanders  +2500<br />Boston Bruins  +2500<br />Montreal Canadiens  +3300<br />Philadelphia Flyers  +3300<br />Edmonton Oilers  +3300<br />New Jersey Devils  +4000<br />Colorado Avalanche  +5000<br />Ottawa Senators  +5000<br />Calgary Flames  +5000<br />Winnipeg Jets  +5000<br />Toronto Maple Leafs  +5000<br />Buffalo Sabres  +5000<br />Arizona Coyotes  +6600<br />Carolina Hurricanes  +6600<br />Columbus Blue Jackets  +6600<br />Vancouver Canucks  +7500</p><p> </p><p><strong>The Favorites</strong><br />Pittsburgh Penguins (+900): The defending Stanley Cup champions will be a force once again. However, consider the fact that no team has won Lord Stanley’s prize in consecutive years since 1998 when Detroit accomplished the feat. As a matter of fact, only three teams have repeated since 1988, and ironically one of those was the Mario Lemieux led Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992. Needless to say, winning back to back Stanley Cups is an enormous task, and that’s been most evident throughout the modern era. I would avoid a wager on the Penguins at this juncture, and especially at these unenticing odds.</p><p>Chicago Blackhawks (+950): You can never ignore the winning tradition of this organization. Chicago won the Stanley Cup three times between 2010 and 2015. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews continue to be elite players, and Cory Crawford has been in goal for two championship runs. Chicago will look to bounce back from a disappointing first round playoff exit in 2016, and they’ve shown the resiliency to recover quickly during recent years. Nevertheless, it’s way too early for me to invest on a team at this low a number. I’ll take a wait and see approach with Chicago, and reevaluate their situation in November before considering using them as one of my <a href="" target="_blank" title="Free NHL Picks All Week at SBR">NHL picks</a>.</p><p>Washington Capitals (+1000): The Capitals have garnered a reputation of being a regular season lion, and a playoff lamb. Regardless of the talent level this club possesses, I don’t trust them to come through when it matters most.</p><p>Tampa Bay Lightning (+1000): Resigning Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and 22-year-old future #1 goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was a huge feather in GM Steve Yzerman’s cap. Signing your own free agents doesn’t always make headlines, but in this particular instance it mustn’t be taken lightly. After all, Tampa Bay has been in the last two Eastern Conference Finals, and came within two wins of a Stanley Cup in 2014.</p><p>Dallas Stars (+1200): I’ve long maintained that Lindy Ruff is the most underrated head coach in the NHL. His team was more than capable of winning it all last season, if not for underachieving goaltenders Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. If that facet of their game can be improved upon, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Do You Agree? Let Us Know In The SBR Forum">the sky is the limit.</a></p><p> </p><p><strong>Stanley Cup Sleeper</strong><br />Florida Panthers (+2000): This is one team I’ve already made a small wager on. The only reason I didn’t risk anything more sizable, pertains to my personal principle of never doing so on a futures bet this early in the process. The Panthers were a surprise winner of the Atlantic Division a season ago, and their roster was loaded with good young talent. They were upset by the Islanders in an Eastern Conference Quarterfinal playoff series. Nonetheless, their regular season success, and postseason experience will pay huge dividends going forward. Additionally, General Manager Dale Tallon did a magnificent job of upgrading his club even more with trades and free agent signings throughout this offseason.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Maybe by January</strong><br />Nashville Predators (+1400)<br />Anaheim Ducks (+1600)<br />New York Rangers (+2200)</p><p><br /><strong>Presently Overvalued Teams</strong><br />St. Louis Blues (+1400)<br />Nashville Predators (+1400)<br />Los Angeles Kings (+1600)<br />Minnesota Wild (+2200)</p><p><br /><strong>Possible Surprise Playoff Teams</strong><br />Edmonton Oilers (+3300)<br />Buffalo Sabres (+5000)<br />Calgary Flames (+5000)<br />Arizona Coyotes (+6600)</p><p><br /><strong>Steer Clear of Clubs</strong><br />Detroit Red Wings (+2500)<br />Boston Bruins (+2500)<br />New York Islanders (+2500)<br />Montreal Canadiens (+3300)<br />Philadelphia Flyers (+3300)<br />New Jersey Devils (+4000)<br />Colorado Avalanche (+5000)<br />Ottawa Senators (+5000)<br />Winnipeg Jets (+5000)<br />Toronto Maple Leafs (+5000)<br />Carolina Hurricanes (+6600)<br />Columbus Blue Jackets (+6600)<br />Vancouver Canucks +7500</p>
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