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NHL season preview

Eastern Conference Top-Ranked Teams

The Tampa Bay Lightning were a regular-season juggernaut but they had an early first-round exit in last year’s playoffs. They’re banking on not making that same mistake again, returning with essentially the same roster for 2019-20. With 7-1 odds, they have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup. 

The Boston Bruins have not changed up their roster too much from last year’s Stanley Cup runner-up roster. General manager Don Sweeney is still poised to make in-season adjustments, especially around the trade deadline. Their odds to win the Stanley Cup are 12-1 going into the season. 

Low Ranked Teams 

The Ottawa Senators were the worst team in the league last season with a record of 29-47-6 (64 points). This season looks to be another long one for the Senators as their odds to win the Stanley Cup this year are 400-1, the highest odds in the league. 

The Detroit Red Wings’ Steve Yzerman era has begun in Detroit’s front office. But he’ll need to wait a little longer to truly shape this roster into a contender. The Red Wings are still shedding bad contracts and are waiting for their prospect system to develop. Their odds to win the Stanley Cup are currently 150-1. 

Western Conference  

Top-Ranked Teams

The Nashville Predators needed a shake-up after back-to-back years of playoff disappointment. So they took from an area of surplus, the blue line, and added to their biggest area of need: talented forwards outside the top line. The offseason could be summed up as thus: defenseman P.K. Subban is out, center Matt Duchene is in. The Predators have 20-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, solid for ranking eighth in the league. 

The defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues have good odds but a repeat championship win would be difficult and unlikely. After handling contract negotiations with several restricted free agents, St. Louis didn’t make any drastic changes to their roster this summer. There should be essentially the same cast returning, including coach Craig Berube, who finally shed the interim tag he held last season. The Blues’ odds to win the Stanley cup are 14-1, good for top five in the league. 

Low Ranked Teams

The Los Angeles Kings are stuck in a rebuild again. They’d like to get younger and faster, but they’re strapped by big contracts still on the books. And thus, it’s probably another long season for the Kings. The Kings’ odds to win the Stanley Cup are 125-1, good for the second-worst team in the league. 

For the Edmonton Oilers’ general manager Ken Holland is in charge now, meaning the Oilers’ long-term prospects are already looking up. The priority for Edmonton is still drafting and developing players, although the left-wing James Neal addition instantly makes the top six better. Their odds to win the Stanley Cup are 40-1.

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