How the Trade Deadline has Influenced the Stanley Cup Odds
On February 25, the NHL Trade Deadline passed, and while it was a quieter deadline day than we’re used to in terms of volume, there were certainly plenty of big-name moves for the team vying to hoist the Stanley Cup.
So, let’s see how the odds have changed for leading contenders in the aftermath of the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline.
Lightning drift slightly in the odds
Rather than bolster the strongest team in the league, the Tampa Bay Lightning decided to keep the good times rolling with their current roster. Despite how great the team is still doing, a lack of activity saw their odds drift out from +225 to +275.
Maple Leafs leapfrog the Flames into second-favorite
Adding a depth defenseman, Oscar Fantenberg, didn’t change the Calgary Flames’ odds of +700 to win the Stanley Cup. But elsewhere in Canada, the move for Jake Muzzin is already paying dividends for the Toronto Maple Leafs, with the addition of Nic Petan to potentially usurp Frederik Gauthier as the fourth line center pushing the Buds back to second-favorites, from odds of +800 to +650.
Good trades mired by injury to slide Bruins’ odds
The Boston Bruins went out and added two very good players to their second and third line. First, they traded for towering forward Charlie Coyle, who joins the Bruins in his preferred position of center on the third line. On deadline day, the Bs went in for tricky playmaker Marcus Johansson, who had recently found his form for the New Jersey Devils after a lengthy injury layoff coming into 2019.
But Boston’s odds have slipped from +1000 to +1400, which is likely due to the thumb injury sustained by star sniper David Pastrnak earlier in February. The Bruins have remained in very good form in the Czech winger’s absence, who is expected to return in the middle of March, likely back up to speed by the time the playoffs come around.
Sharks get even scarier on offense, but the odds don’t budge
Already the second-highest scoring team in the league, only behind the incomparable Bolts, the San Jose Sharks decided to up the ante and added Gustav Nyquist. With 16 goals and 49 points for one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league, the Detroit Red Wings, Nyquist slips into the third line to give the Sharks three incredibly goal-savvy lines of forwards.
The trade didn’t move San Jose’s Stanley Cup odds from +1000, but in the knowledge that Martin Jones always goes big in the playoffs, it’s hard to not consider this team as grossly underrated by the bookies.
The Jets’ big move didn’t sway the bookies
Last season, they pulled in Paul Stastny for their big deadline day move, this year, it was Kevin Hayes of the New York Rangers. Hayes, like Stastny, joins the second line at center with the aim of adding even more playmaking power. Along with some other needs-addressing depth moves, the Jets saw their team improve, but remain with the same odds of +1000.
Predators pull off the big one, but the odds stay the same
Wayne Simmonds was one of the big-ticket items at the trade deadline, and the Nashville Predators managed to trade him in at the incredibly low price of Ryan Hartman and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020. They also added Mikael Granlund to bolster their scoring options as well as Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod.
These very strong trades add grit, scoring, and powerplay prowess, which the Preds desperately need, but didn’t budge their +1100 odds.
Blue Jackets go all in, but the oddsmakers don’t care
Rather than trade away Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin, the Columbus Blue Jackets decided to go all-in this season by trading for Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Keith Kinkaid, and Adam McQuaid to add second line weapons, goaltending depth, and a mighty bottom line defenseman. This is the team’s big push, but the oddsmakers won’t care until they slip back into a playoff place, holding their odds at +2000 for now.
Golden Knights want to go big again but remain as dark horses in the odds
Arguably, the Vegas Golden Knights now have a better team than they did last season, boasting a healthy and on-fire Marc-Andre Fleury in net as well as trade deadline additions of Mark Stone and Tobias Lindberg. The Golden Knights surged to the finals last year, and remain at +1600 to go one step further after pulling in the biggest piece of trade bait of the deadline.
Penguins add defensive grit to try and better their odds
The Pittsburgh Penguins are slipping but added the towering, physical defensive presence of Erik Gudbranson to bolster the team in the locker room and in times of need on the ice. It was a smart move given that the team had little room to operate at the deadline.
The former Panthers third-overall pick joins Nick Bjugstad – now also a former Panther – in Pittsburgh as the team’s two biggest moves, but adding Gudbranson didn’t influence their odds of +1800 to win a third Stanley Cup in four years.
Time will tell how the trade deadline has influenced the Stanley Cup odds
The Lightning slipped ever so slightly, and the Maple Leafs managed to leapfrog the Flames into the position as second-favorites to Tampa Bay to win the Stanley Cup. Over the next couple of weeks, as the new additions adjust to their new teams, the trade deadline moves should have a greater influence on the Stanley Cup odds.