The Chicago Blackhawks claimed their third Stanley Cup in six seasons with their 4-2 series win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s pretty clear this team is a dynasty by definition. Let’s take a look back on their run and examine the NHL betting futures for next season.
Blackhawks Cash As The Chalk
The Chicago Blackhawks were among the Stanley Cup favorites in the NHL odds all season and they eventually cashed. Most sportsbooks weren’t really hurt by that result as it stings them a lot more when a 40/1 shot wins the championship and not the favorite.
The Blackhawks didn’t look great in the regular season but once again, they kicked it up a notch come playoff time. Their ability to execute – in key games, in overtimes, when their backs are against the wall – is the key to their success. Even though they were shorthanded on the blue line and supposedly shaky in net, it didn’t matter as they got the job done.
Value With The Blackhawks?
There wasn’t really much value on the Blackhawks to win the Cup through the playoffs but there was value on them in a couple of series. Remember, they were trailing 2-1 in the Western Conference final to the Anaheim Ducks and at that point, some wondered whether they’d be able to pull that series out. And the same happened in the Stanley Cup Final as they were trailing 2-1 in the series before coming back and winning three straight. That means there was value in both spots on the NHL betting series prices and bettors who never lost faith cashed in at great prices.
The other area where there was value with Chicago was on the road. They were an underdog in most situations this postseason yet they cashed plenty. They won their two road games in Minnesota, they won Game 1 on the road at both Anaheim and Tampa Bay, and they ended up winning six of their last nine on the road. Your bankroll is in great shape if you bet them in those spots.
Looking Forward To Chicago’s Chances Next Season
The Blackhawks are once again going to be Stanley Cup favorites for next season and it’s going to be hard to argue against them. Their core will be back, which includes Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Corey Crawford. The question is who’ll be back with them. Remember, the salary cap is only going to inch up yet the Blackhawks have a lot of work to do to keep it together. They’re going to start the offseason about $9 million over the salary cap and that’s assuming that Antoine Vermette, Brad Richards, Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival walk. It also assumes that restricted free agents Brand Saad and Marcus Kruger are gone, but we know that Saad for sure is back.
So how do they possibly make this work? They’ll have to dump Patrick Sharp's $5.9 million and Bryan Bickell’s $4 million at the very least.
At any rate, I would avoid Blackhawks' futures for now. The reason for it is there is simply no value. Yes, they’re an excellent team but the NHL is typically filled with parity and repeating is very difficult – even if Chicago has won it three of the last six seasons. Don’t bet on them going back-to-back with your NHL picks… at least not until we’ve seen how the offseason plays out.