2014 Stanley Cup Odds: Nashville Predators Begin the Chase at 40/1

Who will raise it next year? - Jared Wickerham

The Chicago Blackhawks are the 2013 Stanley Cup champions, after a sensational late 3rd-period comeback that saw the Hawks snatch victory away from the Boston Bruins just as they were poised to force a Game 7. Hmm... didn't we just talk about stunning reversals of fortune here recently?

Anyway, no sooner does the quest for the 2013 Stanley Cup end, than the chase for the 2014 Stanley Cup begins. Starting tomorrow night, teams can buy players out of contracts in order to clear up cap space, and on Sunday, the NHL Draft will likely see a flurry of trade activity as GM's prepare for the free agency market, which opens on July 5th.

Naturally, the odds makers are ready to do business, and Bovada has laid out their initial odds for next year's NHL championship:

Odds to win the 2014 Stanley Cup

Pittsburgh Penguins 13/2

Chicago Blackhawks 15/2

Boston Bruins 9/1

St. Louis Blues 12/1

Los Angeles Kings 14/1

Vancouver Canucks 14/1

Detroit Red Wings 16/1

New York Rangers 16/1

San Jose Sharks 16/1

Anaheim Ducks 20/1

Toronto Maple Leafs 25/1

Washington Capitals 25/1

Montreal Canadiens 28/1

Carolina Hurricanes 33/1

Edmonton Oilers 33/1

Minnesota Wild 33/1

New York Islanders 33/1

Ottawa Senators 33/1

Philadelphia Flyers 33/1

Colorado Avalanche 40/1

Columbus Blue Jackets 40/1

Nashville Predators 40/1

New Jersey Devils 40/1

Tampa Bay Lightning 40/1

Winnipeg Jets 40/1

Buffalo Sabres 50/1

Calgary Flames 50/1

Dallas Stars 50/1

Phoenix Coyotes 50/1

Florida Panthers 100/1

So, Nashville Predators fans, how do you like those odds? Personally, I think they're right about where I'd put them at this moment - 30/1 would represent an average NHL team's chance to win it all. Given the Preds' finish last season, and the likely influx of youth into the lineup up front, placing them just a notch below "average" seems about right.

Obviously we hope that a few holes get patched up and the team is ready to compete coming out of the gate this fall, but do these odds have you thinking about setting aside the mortgage payment and calling your bookie?

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