Even for the most degenerate gambler out there it’s way too early to bet on who will win the Stanley Cup in 2024. No future superstar has been drafted yet, no franchise-altering free agent signed yet, heck, the Vegas Golden Knights probably haven’t even gone to bed yet following their victory on Tuesday over the Florida Panthers.
Still, the oddsmakers have a job to do and so the way too early odds are out for the 2024 Stanley Cup. If you’re a believer in Julien BriseBois and the boys in the blue and white, perhaps it’s time to plunk down a sawbuck or two as the folks over at BetMGM have them at +1600 to raise Lord Stanley’s Cup next season.
That ties them for the ninth lowest odds with the Dallas Stars according to The Athletic. The sharps have Colorado as the early favorites at +800, followed by Edmonton (+950), Toronto (+950), Boston (+1000), Carolina (+1200), New Jersey (+1200), Vegas (+1200), and the New York Rangers (+1400) before the Stars and the Lightning. The Ducks, Coyotes, Canadiens, and Sharks all share the worst odds at +25000.
Again, and I cannot stress this enough, betting with any kind of certainty at this point is a fool’s errand. You’re better off sending that money to us, at least you’ll get a sticker out of the deal. While it isn’t a complete random assignment of odds, Colorado should be a favorite if they’re healthy next year while teams like Carolina and Toronto should remain ultra-competitive no matter what they do in the off-season.
As for the Lightning, being a top-10 favorite seems about right. They’re probably not going to win it, but as long as Andrei Vasilevskiy is between the pipes they’re not out of contention for the Cup. Due to their limited cap space it’s unlikely they’re going to make any moves this summer that will make that number change in either direction and I wouldn’t be surprised if you see them somewhere near the same odds once the puck drops in October.
It does, however, make for a nice baseline to track how the experts in Vegas think they will do as the season progresses.
Lightning / NHL News
Lightning re-sign Cole Koepke [Raw Charge]
The process of signing RFAs continues for the Lightning as they inked the 25-year-old forward to a one-year, two-way deal. Koepke will be in the mix to make the team next season (especially if Alex Killorn signs elsewhere).
Goal of the Year: Michael Eyssimont [Raw Charge]
Eyssimont scored one goal in the playoffs, but it was a pretty nice one.
Max Lagace signs in Sweden [Farjestad BK]
It looks like the crease in Syracuse will officially belong to Hugo Alnefelt next season. After two seasons with the Crunch, Max Lagace is heading to Sweden to play for Farjstad BK. They had an opening in net because their goaltender from last season, Matt Tomkins signed with….the Tampa Bay Lightning. Everything is connected, man.
Day. Made. pic.twitter.com/95Pe23EAjQ
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 14, 2023
The general managers’ least favorite way of clearing up cap space begins on Friday and runs through June 30th. There aren’t likely to be any buyouts from the Lightning as most of the players that might be candidates could likely be buried in the AHL for next season. It will be interesting to see if any team in the league chooses to clear space with buyouts (which may allow the Lightning to sign a useful player at a bargain).
PHWA Conn Smythe Ballots [The PHWA]
As has been their tradition the Pro Hockey Writers Association has released their ballots for the Conn Smythe Trophy that was won by old friend Jonathan Marchessault. Jack Eichel and Aiden Hill finished second and third while Mark Stone also picked up some votes. It was nice to see Matthew Tkachuk get at least one vote (it was a third place vote).
Cup Final least watched Game 5 in 29 years [Sportsmedia Watch]
With a 1.4 rating and 2.72 viewers the Cup clincher for the Golden Knights was the least watched Game 5 since 1994. That’s a bummer. Overall the playoffs were down about 10% as the full run averaged about 1.23 million viewers. The first three rounds were actually up a couple of percentage points compared to last year, but the Final dragged the numbers down a bit.
It’s been a pretty good run for Chris Stamkos and Joe Pietrangelo, long time friends who have seen their sons hoist up the Stanley Cup four times in the last five years.