Many Stanley Cup favorites tried to move the needle in their favor with big acquisitions at the NHL trade deadline. Following those moves, Caesars Sportsbook has updated their 2022 Stanley Cup odds.
There are a handful of clear favorites to win it all, and they only improved their chances by adding key pieces before the deadline. In particular, the Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning made it a priority to add some firepower ahead of the playoffs. They succeeded in that, and they look even more imposing now than they did before the deadline.
There are also a few dark horses that are hoping to spring a postseason upset on the teams at the top of this list. For instance, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins made moves to give themselves a better chance at knocking off one of the NHL's elite.
The 2022 NHL trade deadline paved the way for some intense playoff battles, so let's take a look at the latest Stanley Cup odds, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Colorado Avalanche | +400
The Avalanche came into the 2021-22 season as the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup, and not much has changed. Colorado is currently 45-13-5 and 17 points up in the Central Division. The Avs rank 10th in the NHL in expected goals share at five-on-five, and even that doesn't really capture just how dominant they have been. With the acquisitions of Artturi Lehkonen and Josh Manson, the Avalanche added to an already scary lineup. Colorado has all-world talent and depth within its forward group, it has multiple Norris-caliber defensemen and Darcy Kuemper can be dominant when he's on top of his game in net.
Florida Panthers | +600
Much like the Avalanche, the Panthers went into the trade deadline with a purpose. Florida improved its defensive depth with trades for Ben Chiarot and Robert Hagg, but the crown jewel of their additions was Philadelphia Flyers legend Claude Giroux. Infusing him into a forward group that already has names like Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Sam Reinhart and Anthony Duclair is borderline unfair. Assuming Aaron Ekblad can get healthy in time for the playoffs, the blue line should be fine too because this team isn't trying to win games 2-1. The goaltending duo of Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight is the biggest question mark for the Panthers' Cup run.
Tampa Bay Lightning | +800
I'm not sure how this is possible, but the Lightning seem to be quietly rolling toward a third straight Stanley Cup. All eyes are on teams like the Avalanche, Panthers and Flames, but the Lightning keep making savvy moves on the trade market as they sit in second in the Atlantic Division. All the usual suspects are chugging along in Tampa, but now Brandon Hagel and Nick Paul have been added to the mix to play depth roles in the forward group. With Victor Hedman back to looking like his old self on defense, you have to pull out a magnifying glass to find weaknesses on this team.
Calgary Flames | +900
When the Flames are rolling, which is quite often, they look like a team fully capable of winning the Stanley Cup. With eight pending unrestricted free agents and three pending restricted free agents on the docket, Calgary knows that now is the time to strike. That's why general manager Brad Treliving traded for a trio of forwards in Tyler Toffoli, Calle Jarnkrok, and Ryan Carpenter. At five-on-five, the Flames are a top-six team in expected goals for, expected goals against, and team save percentage. Whether it's generating offense or keeping the puck out of the net, Calgary excels at it.
Carolina Hurricanes | +900
The Hurricanes weren't terribly active at the NHL trade deadline. They did get a depth forward, Max Domi, from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then again, there weren't many needs for Carolina to address before the deadline. The Hurricanes are a complete team, and they are rock solid with Freddie Andersen in net. After reaching the conference finals in 2019, the Canes have been trying to get back there since, but they haven't been able to make that happen. With Carolina at the top of the Metropolitan Division standings, the path is there for the team, but does it have enough firepower to take down the team that comes out of the Atlantic Division?
Toronto Maple Leafs | +1200
The Maple Leafs did make a big splash at the trade deadline by acquiring defenseman Mark Giordano, and that definitely makes their defensive group look a lot stronger. Giordano will probably reunite with former Calgary Flames teammate T.J. Brodie to form a reliable pairing on the blue line. Still, Toronto's biggest issue of late has been getting saves, and the team didn't really take any steps to correct it. Going into the playoffs, goaltending will be the Leafs' biggest concern, especially if they fall to a Wild Card spot and have to play one of the division winners in the first round.
Pittsburgh Penguins | +1600
The Penguins have been a bit of a surprise this season in that they are battling for the Metropolitan Divisions crown. With Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang on expiring contracts, the team has decided to use this opportunity to take its shot at another playoff run with those two and Sidney Crosby still on the roster together. Pittsburgh was able to strengthen its forward group by acquiring versatile winger Rickard Rakell from the Anaheim Ducks, and the addition of Nathan Beaulieu will give the blue line more depth in the postseason. There is still some question about whether the Pens are deep enough to challenge the top dogs in the Eastern Conference, but they have given themselves a chance.
Vegas Golden Knights | +1600
It might be a surprise to see the Golden Knights on this list when there are several teams ahead of them that are essentially locked into a playoff spot. However, the talent is absolutely there for the Golden Knights to do some damage if they do get into the postseason. When everyone is healthy, Vegas can ice a forward group that includes Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and others. If Vegas does get into the playoffs as a Wild Card team, it will present a very dangerous challenge to a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.