NHL Presidents' Trophy odds: Avalanche heavy regular-season favorites
The 2022-23 NHL season begins in just a few weeks. Though some teams are still tinkering with their rosters or trying to lock up unsigned restricted free agents, most clubs are set.
With that in mind, let's examine the Presidents' Trophy picture and some teams that stand out in the race for regular-season supremacy.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+650|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1000|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1600|
|New York Rangers||+2000|
|St. Louis Blues||+3000|
|Los Angeles Kings||+3300|
|New York Islanders||+3500|
|Detroit Red Wings||+8000|
|New Jersey Devils||+15000|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+20000|
|San Jose Sharks||+25000|
With implied odds of nearly 27%, the Colorado Avalanche are the clear favorites to win the Presidents' Trophy. But while the defending Stanley Cup champions remain one of the league's most talented squads, their odds seem somewhat generous. Injuries played a big part, of course, but the Avalanche did not finish first in last year's regular-season standings, and they've since lost key contributors like Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky, and Darcy Kuemper. Colorado is still an elite team, but this year's lineup has some question marks.
The Toronto Maple Leafs offer decent value to lead the regular season in points. Their offense is lethal, they should benefit from a full season of Mark Giordano on defense, and it seems reasonable to believe a tandem of Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov can provide goaltending equal to or better than what Toronto got from Jack Campbell, Petr Mrazek, and Erik Kallgren last season.
Campbell's remarkably strong start a year ago masked the fact that the Maple Leafs finished 27th in five-on-five save percentage in 2021-22. The goaltending, as a whole, was not good - and Toronto still finished within striking distance of top spot.
The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers could both be destined to take a step back, at least in the regular season. Carolina made plenty of roster changes and will not have Max Pacioretty - arguably its top offseason addition - for most of the campaign. Florida, meanwhile, looks shaky on the blue line beyond Aaron Ekblad. The Panthers don't have a real No. 2 defenseman - or perhaps even a legitimate No. 3 - capable of logging heavy minutes against quality competition.
There's value in the Alberta teams. The Edmonton Oilers have a remarkably strong offense, Evan Bouchard should be ready for more responsibility on the back end, and Campbell is more likely to provide stable goaltending than the netminders who suited up for them last season.
The Calgary Flames could probably use one more middle-six forward, but they also look quite appealing. The top six is still dangerous, and the addition of MacKenzie Weegar gives Calgary one of the best defense corps in the NHL. Jacob Markstrom is a potential Vezina Trophy candidate, while Darryl Sutter remains one of the league's best head coaches. In a relatively shallow division, +1800 is an attractive price.
The New York Islanders are a team that stands out for the wrong reason. They finished 20th in points last season, and their two most notable offseason moves were firing head coach Barry Trotz and acquiring defensive defenseman Alexander Romanov. It's extremely odd to see them with the 15th-shortest odds and ranked ahead of teams like the Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators.
In terms of a team with a chance to surprise, Washington stands out. The Capitals accumulated the seventh-most points in the NHL over the last three seasons and should remain a top team after a busy summer: Dylan Strome is a strong offensive center, Connor Brown will provide more depth on the wing, and Kuemper is an upgrade in goal.
Backing any team with odds worse than Washington's feels like a pie-in-the-sky approach.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.