Gambling is a year-round activity and being the degenerate I am there is always something to throw money on if you find the right price. Last year I didn’t hit any of my three Stanely Cup picks. The Stars missed the playoffs, the Flyers forgot how to play defense and the Hurricanes were bounced out of the playoffs in the 2nd round. Very upsetting but nonetheless those were plays I liked at the time and when the value is there you have to take the chance. Looking at the current Cup futures and the offseason moves here are three Stanley Cup futures that I like this year.
Florida Panthers +2000
This Panthers team stepped up during last year’s shortened season. They finished 2nd in the division but saw a first-round exit at the hand of the Tampa Bay Lightning. This year they are coming in with a couple of nice additions. They traded for Sam Bennett at the deadline last year and it quickly became a great move. He posted 15 points in the 10 regular-season games he played. The Panthers inked him to a four-year extension.
The Panthers boosted their top six with the acquisition of Sam Reinhart from Buffalo. Reinhart signed a three-year deal with the team and then Brandon Montour signed a three-year deal to help bolster the defense. They did lose Chris Driedger to Seattle but with the emergence of Spencer Knight this team has a lot of potential and +2000 is a nice price for this team with the acquisitions they made this offseason.
New York Islanders +2000
The Isles still have a couple of free agents that they have to sign. Anthony Beauvillier and Ilya Sorokin are RFAs that will get their new contracts before the season starts. Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac are two guys the Isles could bring back this offseason. There is also rumored interest in Zach Parise. The Isles have made the conference finals two years in a row. They are so close to getting over that hump. With the Lightning losing a handful of guys this offseason maybe this is the time for the islanders to step up. The team is full of talent and they have a great coach leading the way. I would take the Isles up to +1700 so at the current price of +2000, I am throwing a bit more on it than I should.
New York Rangers +2500
This Rangers team is going to be very good very soon. There is a ton of young talent. From the young guys like Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere. To the older, proven guys like Mika Zibanajed and Artemi Panarin. On the blue line, they have the reigning Norris Trophy winner in Adam Fox. And between the pipes the sick duo of Igor Shesterkin and Alexander Georgiev. This team could be really good and take that next step or they could completely flop.
The Rangers have made a few questionable offseason acquisitions. Including trading away Pavel Buchnevich for Sammy Blais. They also gave Barclay Goodrow a long-term contract and brought in Ryan Reaves. They did beef up but will it be enough to put the team where they need to be. Expect big strides for this team next season. They are going to make noise, it is just a matter of when that will happen.
Do I love these three Stanley Cup picks a little too much? We will see.
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