Shortly after the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup, sportsbooks started to release odds for the next season. The Vegas Golden Knights are among the favorites to take home the Stanley Cup in 2021 at different Nevada sportsbooks.
2021 Stanley Cup odds
The Golden Knights are the favorites to win the pro hockey championship on the Station Casinos STN Sports app. Vegas is alone at the top of Station Casinos’ odds at +550 (5.5-1) to win the Stanley Cup.
The current reigning champion Lightning are +600 (6-1) to win the Stanley Cup at Station Casinos sportsbooks.
The Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche are +600 co-favorites to win it all at William Hill sportsbooks. This is the only sportsbook in Nevada that also has conference odds. Both teams are also +280 co-favorites to win the Western Conference.
The new B-Connected Sports app from Boyd Gaming actually has the Golden Knights as the second-favorite at +950. The Colorado Avalanche are the +750 favorites to win the Stanley Cup next season.
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Odds are a bit closer at the Westgate SuperBook. The Golden Knights, Lightning, and Colorado Avalanche are all +700 to win the 2021 Stanley Cup. Shopping around for the best odds often pays dividends.
A disappointing end to a strange season
The Vegas Golden Knights are off to a great start as a franchise. The team has made the Stanley Cup Playoffs each of the three years it’s been playing. That’s an amazing feat for a new team, but the team has its eyes on the pro hockey championship.
2020 was a strange season for all professional sports. The NHL postponed its season in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The return to play for the NHL had the Golden Knights playing against the rest of the Western Conference in the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada bubble for the league.
The Golden Knights won the top seed for the Western Conference by winning a pre-playoff round-robin tournament.
The team eventually lost to the Dallas Stars in the conference championship. Dallas went on to lose the final series to the champion Lightning.
Eyes on the prize in 2021
The Vegas Golden Knights have their collective eyes on the prize as the team heads into the off-season. Reaching the playoffs isn’t enough for them. The Golden Knights want to bring the Stanley Cup back to Vegas next season.
Coach Pete DeBoer shared his admiration for the Golden Knights in the following statement:
“I feel that I’ve been handed the keys to a Porsche here, and we’ve got to find a way to get it across the finish line in first place, not in second or third or fourth.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league intends on playing a full 82-game season along with a full Stanley Cup Playoff schedule. The starting date and schedule are still up in the air according to Bettman:
“How and when we do that is something that we don’t all have enough information to make any decisions, and anything would just be sheer speculation. Our goal is to get back to as greatest sense of normalcy as possible under whatever circumstances are presented.”
It appears as though the league would like to start the 2021 season sometime in December or January at the latest. Dates and schedules for next season will be announced as the league learns more about where the COVID-19 pandemic stands.
Work to do during the offseason
The Golden Knights had a good season, but there’s still work to do. The largest decision for the Golden Knights starts with its goaltender.
Goaltender Robin Lehner had a great 2019-2020 season. He became the main netminder as the Golden Knights moved into the playoffs. However, he’s a free agent and the team has another goalie on the roster.
They could re-sign Lehner. However, they have fan-favorite goaltender, Marc Andre Fleury, under contract for two more seasons.
While the team waits to make a decision on Lehner, it appears as though the Golden Knights are considering trading Fleury back to the Pittsburgh Penguins where he began his career. This would open up the position and salary-cap room for Lehner.
Lehner isn’t the only free agent for the Golden Knights. The team has a host of free agents including defenseman Deryk Engelland and left winger Tomas Nosek.
The Golden Knights don’t have too much wiggle room under the salary cap. Unless the team unloads contracts like Fleury, it will have just over $5 million in salary-cap space next season. The team could extend some contracts to make signing free agents a little easier.
There’s plenty of work for the Golden Knights in the offseason if the team wants to live up to the lofty odds set by Nevada bookmakers.