The Chicago Blackhawks were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs by the St. Louis Blues in 2016, but oddsmakers are bullish that the Hawks will make a big comeback next year.
That faith is demonstrated in a new set of odds, released by Bodog, that have the Blackhawks listed as the co-favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup in 2017. The Blackhawks, who have won three of the last seven championships in the NHL, are listed as a 9-to-1 favorite to win the trophy, sharing favorite status with the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Blackhawks have made several moves during the offseason to bolster their questionable defense, signing Brian Campbell and Michal Kempny to free agent deals. Campbell will play a puck-moving role for the Blackhawks, and Kempny will be looked to as a second or third pairing guy capable of making plays at both ends of the ice.
The Blackhawks’ offense is a bit more of a question mark, but with returning stars like Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin, oddsmakers are confident enough that the team can find scoring punch in their lineup.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals are just behind the Blackhawks and Penguins in the rankings, with 10-to-1 odds of winning the title next year. The Dallas Stars round out the top five with 12-to-1 odds of winning the championship, with the Blues and the defending Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks just behind them at 14-to-1.