Stanley Cup Betting: Can Any Canadian Team End 30 Years Of Hurt?
You won’t find a sport more Canadian than ice hockey. While it may be played all around the world, Canada is at the top of the charts when it comes to the Big Dance on ice. At least where passion is concerned.
Across the country, there are almost 350,000 Canadians registered to play ice hockey and, according to the CBC, there are more than 1.2 million pairs of Canadian feet taking to the ice each year.
Although that number is half of what’s recorded for the USA, consider that Canada has a population that’s 8.6-times smaller, and it’s suddenly clear just how much hockey and hockey bets are loved north of the border. Yet, if you look at the Stanley Cup betting market, you’ll see that it’s the American teams that are favourited to win.
That isn’t a new phenomenon; for 30 years, Canadian teams have been unable to beat their American rivals to win the Stanley Cup, a trophy that was created in Canada and awarded to the Montreal Hockey Club way back in 1893.
It is a great source of pain for Canadian hockey fans that our teams have not been in contention for three decades.
Can any of them finally punch through the clouds to put an end to the drought, or are we going to be subjected to ever more dominance from teams to the south?
With not long to go before the 2022-23 NHL season gets underway, here at Bodog, we’ve been turning over every leaf to find out.
Toronto Maple Leafs (+850)
With NHL odds of +850, the Toronto Maple Leafs are currently the country’s best hopes of bringing the Stanley Cup home for the first time in a generation, which is probably why they’re also one of the top 5 popular sports teams in Canada.
The team has been consistently near the top of the regular season standings, making the playoffs for the last few seasons running. Yet, the Leafs have been unable to convert that into a Stanley Cup victory. In fact, Toronto hasn’t frozen out of hockey’s ultimate prize since way back in the 1966-67 season.
It was during this decade that the team was riding its heyday, coming out on top in four NHL finals thanks to some of the top Maple Leaf players of all time on its roster during that period.
After a slow descent from the lofty heights of yesteryear, things have once again been looking much stronger from the Maple Leafs in recent times. The turnaround began with a complete rebuilding of the team at every level under Brendan Shanahan, which has enabled the Leafs to mount a few challenges for the title, though none bore the sweetest fruit.
Last season we saw some solid performances from Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, and William Nylander. Matthews alone managed 60 goals during the regular season. Sure, this was fewer than his own PB, but it was still more than enough to lead the entire NHL.
Overall, the Maple Leafs have all the ingredients to bring the Stanley Cup home, it’s just whether they can rustle them up to create the ultimate taste of victory.
Edmonton Oilers (+1400)
The Edmonton Oilers have won five Stanley Cups since they joined the NHL in 1979. It didn’t take long for the team to begin winning either, with two championships in a row in 1983-84 and 1984-85, another two in 1986-87 and 1987-88, and a final one in 1989-90.
Since then, there hasn’t been much in the way of playoff success except for a conference championship in 2005-06.
Following that appearance in the final, the Oilers lost a slew of key players and fell into a decade’s long decline.
Since 2015, the team has been slowly recovering, earning their first playoff place for 11 years in 2016-17, though it wasn’t to be repeated the following season.
Things have been looking up or the Oilers though, who, under Ken Holland, have now rolled into playoffs for three straight seasons. Last year, the team finished second in the Pacific Division and progressed through the playoffs and all the way to the Western Conference Finals.
Alas, they were unable to make it any further and were sent home by the eventual Stanley Cup winners, the Colorado Avalanche, after just four games.
The Oilers owe much of their recent success to Connor McDavid who has come alive in recent seasons. In 2021-22, he managed a career-best points haul of 123, matching his NHL record of 44 goals in the regular season.
With McDavid on the roster, Edmonton is looking at odds of +1400 to take home the trophy.
Calgary Flames (+2000)
The Calgary Flames are third in line for Canada’s best hopes to win the Stanley Cup with odds of +2000.
Having moved to Calgary from Atlanta in 1980, the Flames won their first and only Stanley Cup nine years later in the 1988-89 season. Since then, they’ve only had one other shot at the title when they made it to the finals in the 2004 playoffs.
Like the other Canadian NHL teams we’ve looked at, the Flames fell into decline for quite some time before bouncing back in the last few years. Much of this success came at the hands of Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan, and Johnny Gaudreau.
However, Giordano left ahead of the 2021-22 season and Gaudreau left in July as a free agent.
Last season, the Flames topped the Pacific Division and made it into the second round of the playoffs before being defeated by the Oilers. This was despite the absence of Giordano, though it was helped by 40 goals and 115 points from Gaudreau.
Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm were also key contributors to success last season, with both of them scoring more goals than their departing colleague.
So while there are a few question marks about 2022-23, the team will not be without robust players who could build on last season’s successes.
Ending the 30 years of torture on the ice for Canadian NHL fans will be no easy feat. These teams are up against some tough competition from the United States, but that doesn’t mean there’s no path to the other side. Stanley Cup betting odds are up and ready to go, so if you want to grab your best NHL odds before the season kicks off, Bodog is the place to do it. Will you put your money on Canada this season?