Last week, we published an article with the way-too-early odds for next year’s Stanley Cup champion. With the Colorado Avalanche having just beaten the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the 2021-22 title, there is a lot of buzz about the Avs as a potential dynasty going forward. The team does have a solid young core, but it is difficult to repeat in this league, because of the grueling nature of the game, as well as the ways in which momentum can shift so quickly in a playoff series.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest news from hockey that could influence your online NHL betting on next year’s futures.
NHL News: The Rumor Mill
Rick Bowness has found a new coaching home with the Winnipeg Jets. Bowness had spent the last three seasons behind the bench of the Dallas Stars, guiding them to a surprising berth in the Stanley Cup Finals in the 2019-20 season but then missing the playoffs two years ago and getting knocked out in the first round by the Calgary Flames this season. Bowness got the offer in Winnipeg after Barry Trotz turned the team down, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. The Jets cited Bowness’ ease in one-on-one conversations as a characteristic that players want in today’s league, wanting a desire to connect with their coach and feel heard. Bowness had an 89-62-25 record in Dallas, over 176 regular-season games, and an 18-16 playoff mark. He played for Winnipeg in the 1980-81 season, skating in 45 games, and he also coached in the organization. It will be interesting to see if he can get the Jets into the postseason, as the roster has talent that has not yet come to fruition in terms of performance.
The salary cap has already started to whittle away at some of the top teams in the NHL, as the Tampa Bay Lightning sent veteran blueliner Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Grant Mismash. McDonagh remains under contract for four more seasons, with an average annual value of $6.75 million on the deal. In 71 games this season, he scored 26 points, and he averaged 17:50 per game on the ice during 5-on-5 situations. While in Tampa Bay, he anchored the second defensive pairing. After the Lightning lost to Colorado, the team started looking for ways to add cap flexibility, as Ondrej Palat, who has scored huge playoff goals for the Lightning time and time again, is an unrestricted free agent, as is defenseman Jan Rutta.
Another blow to a top contender came on Saturday when Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair underwent surgery to fix an injured Achilles tendon. The injury took place during off-season training, and he is not expected to return until the middle of the 2022-23 season. He set career bests with 31 goals and 27 assists in 2021-22, a key contributor as the Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy as the team with the best regular-season record. However, the Panthers got swept in the second round of the playoffs by Tampa Bay. Duclair is entering the second year on a three-year, $9 million deal that is a terrific bargain for a player who scores that much. The Panthers may designate Duclair for long-term injured reserve at the start of the season to use that cap space elsewhere.
The Vancouver Canucks extended Brock Boeser on a three-year deal averaging $6.65 million per season, along with a 10-team no-movement clause in the last season. Boeser was a pending restricted agent who turned a tough first half into a successful season. Once Bruce Boudreau took over the coaching duties from Travis Green, Boeser found a rhythm and ended up with 23 goals and 46 points in 71 games.
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