Stanley Cup Final odds: Here's who's favored to win it all in the 2018-19 NHL season
Hint: It's not last year's champs
There is no shortage of drama on the ice, either, as the Washington Capitals look to defend their first Stanley Cup title after coach Barry Trotz's sudden departure, the Tampa Bay Lightning attempt to sustain their regular-season power and NHL icons like Connor McDavid try to revive their teams' spotlight.
Nothing speaks to the drama, however, like Stanley Cup projections, especially when the reigning champs aren't even among the top three favorites to go the distance.
According to Bovada's latest 2018-19 Stanley Cup Final odds, the Capitals are behind at least three others in preseason Cup forecasts, tied with the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights thanks to 11-to-1 odds.
First on the list? The Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto didn't make it past the first round of the 2017-18 playoffs after a seven-game loss to their rival Boston Bruins, and they haven't won more than a single postseason series since 2003-04. They also lost veteran forwards Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk this summer. But then they added the NHL's hottest free agent in five-time All-Star John Tavares, one of the NHL's premier scorers, to a group already headlined by young play-makers Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner.
According to Bovada, the Leafs are slight favorites to win it all over the Lightning, who last won the Cup in 2003-04 but returned to the Final in 2014-15.
Here's a rundown of the top 10 teams per Bovada's odds:
Toronto Maple Leafs: 13/2
Tampa Bay Lightning: 15/2
Winnipeg Jets: 19/2
Nashville Predators: 11/1
Vegas Golden Knights: 11/1
Washington Capitals: 11/1
Boston Bruins: 12/1
Pittsburgh Penguins: 12/1
San Jose Sharks: 16/1
St. Louis Blues: 20/1
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