It’s been a few weeks since the 2020-21 NHL season came to an end as the Tampa Bay Lightning won their second of back-to-back Stanley Cups. However, even as the offseason is in full swing, that hasn’t stopped people from thinking ahead to who’ll win the 2022 Stanley Cup. In fact, BetOnline has released early odds for next season’s champions and, at +575, they’re favoring the Colorado Avalanche.
With a 39-13-4 record in the 2020-21 season, the Avalanche finished with 82 points — good enough to win the President’s Trophy as the NHL’s top team. Unfortunately, Colorado didn’t go too far in the playoffs as they were eliminated in the second round for the third straight year. Still, the Avalanche have a great young core of talented players, such as Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen. That’s not even to mention the fact that team captain Gabriel Landeskog has re-signed for another eight years, so it doesn’t look like Colorado’s Stanley Cup window is going to close any time soon. The Western Conference also looks to be relatively week next season, so now’s the time for them to carve out the easiest past to the finals.
The Avalanche just need to find out a way to bring their regular season success into the playoffs. They’re definitely talented enough to do it, however, they need to get past that mental hurdle first. Once that’s cleared, the sky’s the limit for Colorado.
2022 Stanley Cup Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Wednesday, July 28
- Colorado Avalanche (+575)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (+650)
- Vegas Golden Knights (+750)
- Boston Bruins (+1100)
- Carolina Hurricanes (+1100)
- Toronto Maple Leafs (+1400)
- Florida Panthers (+1800)
- New York Islanders (+2000)
- Minnesota Wild (+2200)
- New York Rangers (+2200)
Complete odds list available at BetOnline.ag.
Lightning Looking for Three Cups in a Row
At +650 odds, the Tampa Bay Lightning have the second-best shot at winning the 2022 Stanley Cup. Considering how the Lightning have won back-to-back championships, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them that high on the list. After all, they’ll have their usual suspects back in the lineup for another season. Nikita Kucherov showed that he’s at full health now, while players like Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos will continue being offensive threats. Tampa Bay still has perennial Norris and Vezina Trophy contenders Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy as well, which always helps with goal control.
Yes, the Lightning did lose Yanni Gourde in the expansion draft and recently traded Tyler Johnson to the Chicago Blackhawks. However, Tampa Bay is consistently figuring out how to replace players with someone new. It’s how the team’s been working over the last several years, so this isn’t uncharted territory. If anything, it makes the organization’s winning ways even more impressive.
If the Lightning win the next Stanley Cup, they’d become the first team to win three in a row since the New York Islanders won four between 1980 and 1983.
Golden Knights Stanley Cup Odds
The team with the third-best odds to win the 2022 Stanley Cup is the Vegas Golden Knights at +750. Since entering the league in 2017, the Golden Knights have made the playoffs every year, making at least to Round 3 of the playoffs in three of those four seasons. The one thing that’ll be interesting to see, though, is how they’ll fair without goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The Golden Knights recently traded him to the Blackhawks after he won this year’s Vezina Trophy — one of the main reasons why Vegas found success in 2020-21. They still do have Robin Lehner for the next five seasons and he’s shown that he’s more than capable of being a starter in the past. However, only time will tell if he’s capable of bringing the Stanley Cup to Las Vegas.