Vegas oddsmakers show no love for Caps

Vegas oddsmakers show no love for Caps
July 14, 2014, 3:45 pm
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(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Back on June 16 -- after the Los Angeles Kings skated to their second Stanley Cup title in three years and before Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews became the two richest men in hockey – Vegas odds had the Chicago Blackhawks as the favorites to win the 2015 Stanley Cup at 7 to 1 odds.

The Bruins were next at 8 to 1, followed by the Kings [9/1], Penguins [10/1] and Blues [12/1]. The Capitals checked in at 16th with 33 to 1 odds.

Less than a month later, Vegas has revised its Stanley Cup odds following the wave of free-agent signings on July 1.

The Blackhawks are still considered the favorites at 7 to 1, but now the Kings are next at 9 to 1, followed by the Bruins [10/1], Ducks [12/1] and Penguins [12/1].

Which leads us to the Capitals.

After spending much of the $12.7 million they had in cap space with the free-agent signings of defensemen Matt Niskanen [7 years, $40.25 million] and Brooks Orpik [5 years, $27.5 million] and goaltender Justin Peters [2 years, $1.9 million] the Caps improved their chances of winning the first Stanley Cup in their 40-year history, right?

Well …

If you believe the oddsmakers, the Caps’ chances actually got worse, falling from 33 to 1 to 40 to 1, and dropping them from 16th to 19th among the NHL’s 30 teams.

Now, I’m not mathematician, but I’ve got to think the Capitals are a better team today than they were a week ago when their defensive depth chart was among the thinnest in the Eastern Conference.

Either way, the oddsmakers in Vegas are on the fence when it comes to the Capitals making the playoffs next season. Do you agree? And where would you place the Caps when rating the NHL’s top 30 teams?

2015 Stanley Cup Odds Before NHL Free Agency

Chicago Blackhawks                             7/1

Boston Bruins                                       8/1

Los Angeles Kings                                9/1

Pittsburgh Penguins                              10/1

St. Louis Blues                                      121

Anaheim Ducks                                     14/1

San Jose Sharks                                   14/1

New York Rangers                                 16/1

Colorado Avalanche                              18/1

Minnesota Wild                                     20/1

Montreal Canadiens                               20/1

Detroit Red Wings                                 22/1

TampaBay Lightning                             25/1

Vancouver Canucks                               25/1

Philadelphia Flyers                                28/1

Washington Capitals                              33/1

Dallas Stars                                         33/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                             33/1

Columbus Blue Jackets                         40/1

New Jersey Devils                                 40/1

Edmonton Oilers                                   50/1

Ottawa Senators                                    50/1

Phoenix Coyotes                                   50/1

Winnipeg Jets                                       50/1

Calgary Flames                                     66/1

Carolina Hurricanes                                66/1

Nashville Predators                               66/1

New York Islanders                                66/1

Florida Panthers                                    75/1

Buffalo Sabres                                      100/1

2015 Stanley Cup Odds After Free Agency

Chicago Blackhawks                 7/1

Los Angeles Kings                    9/1

Boston Bruins                           10/1

Anaheim Ducks                         12/1

Pittsburgh Penguins                  12/1

St. Louis Blues                          12/1

San Jose Sharks                       14/1

New York Rangers                     16/1

Colorado Avalanche                  18/1

Dallas Stars                              18/1

Minnesota Wild                         18/1

TampaBay Lightning                 18/1

Montreal Canadiens                   20/1

Detroit Red Wings                     22/1

Philadelphia Flyers                    28/1

Vancouver Canucks                   28/1

Columbus Blue Jackets             33/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                 33/1

Washington Capitals                  40/1

Edmonton Oilers                       50/1

New Jersey Devils                     50/1

New York Islanders                    50/1

Ottawa Senators                        50/1

Arizona Coyotes                        50/1

Winnipeg Jets                           50/1

Carolina Hurricanes                    66/1

Nashville Predators                   66/1

Buffalo Sabres                          75/1

Calgary Flames                         75/1

Florida Panthers                        75/1