Parts are moving for the Vegas Golden Knights. But the machine is still a Stanley Cup contender in terms of betting odds.
The Knights traded fan favorite and 2021 Vezina Trophy winner Marc Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
The deal relieves the team of the goaltender’s salary. In exchange, the Golden Knights acquired forward Mikael Hakkarainen.
While a noteworthy transaction of a net-minder who helped the Golden Knights reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 2018, futures odds for the team have not changed.
Big deal, no change in the odds
While this deal greatly impacts hockey fans in Las Vegas, it doesn’t move the betting odds. Marc Andre Fleury is no Aaron Rodgers. Rumors about his future and the actual trade of Fleury didn’t create the chaos from the ongoing saga of the Green Bay Packers quarterback.
The Golden Knights’ odds haven’t changed with Circa Sports. The team remains at +590 to win the Stanley Cup after the trade. Conversely, the odds are -980 that Vegas won’t take home the NHL championship trophy.
Jeff Davis, assistant sportsbook manager at Circa Sports, told PlayNevada:
“I would say the move would shorten their price if we were going to move it. It frees up cap space to sign a bigger name forward. The difference in price in a one game situation between Fleury and Lehner isnt more than a few pennies.”
The stagnant line movement is the same with all Nevada sports betting apps. The Golden Knights are still +650 to win the Stanley Cup next season at BetMGM. The odds are exactly the same as when the 2021-2022 championship futures were released earlier this month.
Face of the Vegas franchise sent packing
Fleury quickly became a fan favorite and the face of the Vegas Golden Knights. The player known by fans as “Flower” led the Golden Knights to an unprecedented three Western Conference championship games in four years with the team. No other NHL team can make this claim.
In a short time, Fleury became an icon in Las Vegas. He had so many shutouts that fans often enjoyed free donuts because he blanked the opposition. Off the ice, Fleury came to enjoy living and raising a family in Las Vegas. He was such a popular player that he inspired Bark-Andre Furry. The Jack Russell Terrier became an unaffiliated mascot of Fleury and the Golden Knights.
To say Fleury was pivotal in making the Golden Knights so popular in Las Vegas would be an understatement. He wanted to end his career in Las Vegas. There are whispers Fleury won’t report to the Blackhawks and is considering an early retirement that would leave his $7 million in salary on the table.
Looking ahead for Vegas Golden Knights
Robin Lehner will be the starting goaltender when the Golden Knights drop the puck for the first time next season. The Golden Knights are -290 favorites against the expansion Seattle Kraken at BetMGM. The 5.5 total goals is juiced to the under. This typically means that bettors are placing wagers on the under.
Lehner started 19 games in goal for the Golden Knights during the 2020-21 season. He was 13-4 during the regular season. Lehner had one shutout on the season and a 2.29 goals-against average. He and Fleury took home the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the NHL last season.
While Lehner had a solid regular season, he didn’t make much of an impression during the playoffs. He was only 1-2 as the Golden Knights looked to take home their first Stanley Cup. Lehner’s goals-against average ballooned to 3.62 during those three games.
Looking to the future, Davis of Circa Sports said it “feels like the beginning of a serious attempt” to acquire Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres. The center’s agent expects a trade any day now.
It looks like the Golden Knights aren’t done making moves this summer.