Bolstered by the addition of some key role players at the NHL’s trade deadline the Chicago Blackhawks have solidified their position on the odds to win the Stanley Cup, pegged at 5/1 on the latest futures update at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Help arrives just in time for a Blackhawks team that struggled in February, going 6-5 on the month and just 3-5 in their past eight games – outscored by an 18-5 margin in those losses.
Forward Andrew Ladd returns to Chicago from Winnipeg, joined by forward Dale Weise from the Montreal Canadiens, and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff from the Los Angeles Kings.
Chicago travels to Detroit for Wednesday night’s Blackhawks vs. Red Wings betting matchup at Joe Louis Arena in a tight race with the Dallas Stars atop the Central Division and Western Conference standings.
The Stars were also busy at the deadline, acquiring arguably the best defenseman available in Kris Russell, who joins the team from the Calgary Flames. Dallas has seen marginal improvement in their Stanley Cup odds despite wrapping up February with six losses in seven outings, rising to 10/1 after briefly falling to 12/1 at the sportsbooks.
Over in the Eastern Conference, the first-place Washington Capitals made deadline moves to add depth and free up some cap space. Most notable was the deal that sent forward Brooks Laich to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with defense prospect Connor Carrick and a second-round pick in exchange for forward Daniel Winnik.
The Capitals, who maintain their perch as the Stanley Cup betting favorites with 9/2 odds, also added depth defenseman Mike Weber, but have otherwise left intact the core that has earned them first place overall in the NHL standings.
Meanwhile, Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon made a splash at the deadline designed to send a message that his club is in it to win it this season.
The Panthers, Atlantic Division leaders since January, added forwards Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell and defenseman Jakub Kindl in an effort to both fill holes caused by injuries to forward Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman Willie Mitchell, and fend off the surging Tampa Bay Lightning in the hunt for top spot in the division standings.
Despite their success and recent moves, Florida continues to lag behind the front of the pack on the Stanley Cup betting lines at the sportsbooks, sporting 16/1 odds. Florida trails the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, who each sit at 11/1 odds, the Lightning at 12/1, and the New York Rangers, who are joined at 14/1 by the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues.