NHL Odds – A Big Ol’ 2015-16 Preview

NHL Odds – A Big Ol’ 2015-16 Preview

Eric ThompsonNo comments

For the third time in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks will open their season by raising a Stanley Cup banner to the rafters of the United Center. When the action gets underway, the Hawks will be looking to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since the Red Wings in 1997-98.

There’s a reason repeating has become such a difficult task in the salary-cap era, and this offseason was an example of the challenge of keeping a winning team together. Chicago had to say goodbye to key contributors like Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, and Johnny Oduya, among others. Throw in the legal issues that will follow Patrick Kane throughout the season, and the Blackhawks will face an uphill battle in their attempt to repeat.

The rest of the NHL’s top contenders took very different approaches; teams like the Lightning and Rangers largely stood pat, while the Ducks, Kings, and Penguins all made moves for some big-named talent to help bolster their chances, acquiring Kevin Bieksa and Carl Hagelin; Milan Lucic; and Phil Kessel, respectively.

Outside that usual crew of contenders sits a second-tier of teams looking to make the leap. The St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, and Washington Capitals have all been playoff mainstays in recent years, but haven’t been able to make it out of the second round, let alone get to a Cup final. Is this the year one of these also-rans charges to the front of the race?

It’s all shaping up to be another fascinating season of hockey: even the bad teams will be more fun to watch thanks to an influx of exciting young talent from this year’s draft, highlighted by Connor McDavid (Edmonton) and Jack Eichel (Buffalo).

With puck-drop a little over a month away, we thought we’d get your minds out of the sun and back into the cold confines of the arena with an early look at the upcoming season.

Here are some odds for how the 2015-16 NHL season will play out.

2015-16 NHL Props:

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