Busting open the summer in tremendous fashion, the Colorado Avalanche made good on their pre-season billing as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup by going all the way after an almighty regular season effort. Now, we get to enjoy seeing the Avs’ star players parade the legendary trophy around the world.
As with every Stanley Cup winner to come before them, the Avs have had to deal with a brutal NHL free agency, seeing some big names depart for Cup-powered mega deals elsewhere. Still, they will return with the key skaters like Conn Smythe Trophy-winner Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog.
So, it won’t come as a surprise that Colorado is atop the odds for the 2022/23 Stanley Cup, but their main competitors aren’t too far behind.
Going again with much of the same
Finishing atop the Western Conference and second overall in the NHL standings, Colorado’s 119 points and +78 goal difference showcase how mighty the unit became in 2021-22. In the playoffs, the Nashville Predators were bumped aside with ease, the St. Louis Blues put up a fight but eventually crumbled, and the Edmonton Oilers were done in four games en route to a six-game win in the Final.
As a result, any Avs players with their contracts running down became hot targets for the rest of the league. Andre Burakovsky, goaltender Darcy Kuemper, Nico Sturm and Nicolas Aube-Kubel headline the departures. Still, that freed space for the trade and signing of Alexandar Georgiev, Valeri Nichushkin, Darren Helm, Josh Mason, and Artturi Lehkonen.
The big name still out there on a tether is Nazem Kadri, and the Avs do have a bit of cash left to try to woo their oft-overlooked hero back to Ball Arena, but the New York Islanders may have other ideas as a strong suitor for his services. While weakened in goal, on paper, the Avalanche has fared well and looks strong.
Toronto readying a challenge from the Eastern Conference
Along with building out the lower lines, the Buds added a potentially high-ceiling goalie project in Ilya Samsonov as well as the once-great Matt Murray. The Ontario-born Stanley Cup winner is a huge risk due to injuries, but when he’s fit, Murray has proven himself capable of being solid against shots that he should save and capable of stopping those that he has no right to stop – when he’s fit, that is.
Goaltending was a major problem for the star-studded Buds, so if the gamble pays off, Toronto will have patched what could be considered the team’s only glaring hole. As a result, Canadians are rallying behind the Maple Leafs, particularly those in its native Ontario, betting on them to become the first Canadian winners of the Stanley Cup since the Montréal Canadiens in 1993.
Of course, it’s not enough to get some money down on the outright winner of the Stanley Cup: bettors want to use the best platform with the best odds. When it comes to the best Ontario sports betting sites, there are several options, but luckily, review sites compile the top picks to showcase the best places to bet. As it stands, the consensus top site to bet with from Ontario has Colorado at +425, with Toronto as the next favorite at +900.
While the Avs have both secured plenty of their Cup-winning talents and lost a lot of reliability between the pipes, the gamble on Murray from Toronto stops them from being closer second-favorites. If the Canadian shot-stopper comes good, though, the +900 to win the Cup will quickly boil down.