It’s not that this year’s NHL trade deadline was a bust: it certainly wasn’t NBA bad! But it saw the continuation of a new trend, where the biggest deals are worked out days, sometimes weeks, before the deadline. Regardless of when teams “crossed the i’s,” the theme of this year’s trades seemed to be “the rich get richer.”
It started with perennial Cup contenders the Chicago Blackhawks, who made a ton of moves to improve their depth heading into the playoffs. None were bigger than bringing back former teammate and 20+ goal-scorer Andrew Ladd, who will join Jonathan Toews on Chicago’s nominal second line. The addition of Ladd means the Blackhawks should be able to get premium production out of another combination, to go along with Patrick Kane’s outstanding group.
Chicago’s rivals also made a few moves to keep pace. Los Angeles added a pair of former Blackhawks in Kris Versteeg and Rob Scuderi; Colorado added some size and skill with winger Mikkel Boedker; and Dallas got an improvement on defense by adding the shot-blocking Kris Russell. While none of these moves rocket teams up the Stanley Cup futures, it certainly casts them in a more favorable light than teams that stood pat, like St. Louis and Nashville.
In the East, it was the New York Rangers stealing deadline headlines for what feels like the eighth year in a row. The Rangers made another huge move by bringing in Eric Staal on a rental deal. Staal is the type of power forward New York always covets, and he makes their team that much more difficult to play over a seven-game series. Even though Washington is running away with the Eastern Conference this season, remember: the Capitals last three playoff runs have ended at the hands of the Rangers. That is a potential second-round matchup the Caps cannot be excited about.
The only other East contender to make any consequential moves was the Florida Panthers, who added Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell. But can you truly call a team that hasn’t won a playoff series since 1996 “a contender?”
We have all your updated odds for the Stanley Cup following the trade deadline. But first, let’s revisit our odds for some of the NHL’s other notable hardware!
Hart Trophy Odds
- Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks): 1/6
- Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals): 7/1
- Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars): 15/1
The only player on pace to break 100 points this season, Kane is the runaway candidate for this award now. He powered the Blackhawks through a slow start to the year and has them poised to grab the West’s top seed. While a similar argument could be made for Ovechkin, he isn’t even the leading scorer on the Capitals. Not to mention, the only reason he leads the league in goals is because he shoots way more than any other player (second-place is over 50 shots behind).
Art Ross Trophy Odds
- Patrick Kane: 1/50
- Field: 20/1
The only way Kane doesn’t win this one is if he suffers a devastating injury. Even then, he’s built himself such a big lead that he could still be fine.
Calder Trophy Odds
- Artemi Panarin (Chicago Blackhawks): 1/1
- Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings): 5/1
- Max Domi (Phoenix Coyotes): 5/1
- Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres: 9/1
- Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers): 9/1
Panarin, the second-leading scorer on the veteran-laden Blackhawks, has built a strong lead in this race, but it’s clear this is an exciting rookie class. Perhaps the most shocking thing is how McDavid has been able to throw his hat in the ring after missing 37 games this season. He’s one of only seven players in the NHL averaging over a point a game, but his long absence will hurt him.
Norris Trophy Odds
- Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators): 2/5
- Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings): 3/1
- Shea Weber (Nashville Predators): 12/1
This will be a two-horse race for top defenseman. Karlsson is dominant at both ends of the ice and plays more minutes than any other defender. But Doughty is the rock of a Cup-contending blueline and has never won the award despite being widely recognized as one of the game’s best. Weber fronts the pack to snag the third nomination, but guys like Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Brent Burns, and Dustin Byfuglien all have worthy claims, too.
Vezina Trophy Odds
- Corey Crawford (Chicago Blackhawks): 5/3
- Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals): 5/2
- Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils): 4/1
- Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning): 6/1
The Vezina is the most difficult race to call at this point. The award for the NHL’s top goalie has numerous candidates and only three nominee spots. Crawford, Holtby, and Schneider should get preference, though, since they’ve gotten more work this season than other strong goalies like Bishop and Petr Mrazek.
Jack Adams Odds
- Gerard Gallant (Florida Panthers): 1/1
- Barry Trotz (Washington Capitals): 2/1
- Joel Quenneville (Chicago Blackhawks): 5/1
Gallant is still the favorite thanks to raising the Panthers from punchline to possibility, but Trotz should also be recognized for the historic run the Capitals are on.
And finally …
Stanley Cup Odds (post trade deadline):
- Chicago Blackhawks: 6/1 (up from 7/1)
- Washington Capitals: 7/1 (no change)
- Los Angeles Kings: 17/2 (up from 9/1)
- Dallas Stars: 9/1 (no change)
- Anaheim Ducks: 11/1
- New York Rangers: 12/1 (up from 14/1)
- St. Louis Blues: 14/1
- Florida Panthers: 15/1 (up from 18/1)
- San Jose Sharks: 17/1
- Tampa Bay Lightning: 17/1
- Pittsburgh Penguins: 19/1
- Boston Bruins: 21/1
- Detroit Red Wings: 25/1
- New York Islanders: 25/1
- Nashville Predators: 28/1
- Colorado Avalanche: 32/1
- Minnesota Wild: 35/1
- New Jersey Devils: 40/1
- Arizona Coyotes: 45/1
- Carolina Hurricanes: 50/1
- Ottawa Senators: 60/1
- Philadelphia Flyers: 60/1
- Vancouver Canucks: 70/1
- Montreal Canadiens: 80/1
- Calgary Flames: 100/1
- Winnipeg Jets: 500/1
- Edmonton Oilers: 1,000/1
- Buffalo Sabres: 1,000/1
- Columbus Blue Jackets: 5,000/1
- Toronto Maple Leafs: 99,999/1
(Photo credit: Benjamin Reed (Eric Staal Uploaded by Hephaion) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)