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NHL’s Biggest Winners and Losers of the 2019 Offseason – Free Agency Recap and 2020 Stanley Cup Odds

August 24, 2019


Most of the major free agents have signed
in the NHL, and now it’s time to look ahead to the 2019-2020 season. Hello everyone, I’m Drew Goldfarb, and today
we’re doing a way-too-early preview of the 2019-2020 NHL season by looking at the biggest
winners and losers of the 2019 offseason. We’ll begin with the 5th-biggest winner
of the summer, and that’s the Arizona Coyotes. The Yotes were going to be on this list regardless
of any transactions they made on July 1, all thanks to one simple acquisition… a new
owner. Las Vegas casino owner Alex Meruelo is the
majority owner of the Coyotes franchise, with the deal being finalized over the summer. The team is still hoping to find a permanent
arena in the Phoenix area, but having a new owner… and not having that owner be one
located in a city like Houston… is a big boost to the team and gives at least a little
added confidence to their fans. Add to that the acquisitions of Phil Kessel
and Carl Soderberg via trade to join a young team that nearly made the Playoffs in 2019,
and you have one of the better offseasons that the franchise has had in recent memory. They’re currently listed as a +3500 longshot
to win the Stanley Cup in 2020. I’m not taking that bet, but it’s been
a good summer to be a Coyotes fan. At number 4, the New York Rangers. After trading away Jimmy Vesey to Buffalo
early in the day, the blueshirts snatched up free agent Artemi Panarin. Panarin signed a 7-year contract worth 81.5
million dollars. The AAV is a little high at a few thousand
dollars a year more than Auston Matthews’ deal with Toronto from back in February, but
is certainly the biggest splash of the summer when it comes to Unrestricted Free Agents. Combine that signing with the acquisition
of defenseman Jacob Trouba in June, and drafting Kaapo Kakko second overall at the 2019 NHL
Draft, and that’s a solid offseason for a team that looked to be in rebuild mode as
recently as a few weeks ago. Now a +6600 underdog to win, there aren’t
many teams with longer odds, but they are definitely better than all of the teams behind
them. At number 3, the Dallas Stars. The team that took the eventual Stanley Cup
Champions to double overtime in Game 7 of Round 2 has had quite the July 1. Joe Pavelski signed a 3-year deal worth 21
million dollars after leaving San Jose, Corey Perry signed a 1-year deal with a cap hit
of just 1.5 million dollars, and they added Andrej Sekera to their blueline. They did lose Mats Zuccarello and Jason Spezza,
but Pavelski’s addition more than makes up for that. Dallas is available at +2000 to win the Cup
in 2020. This is the first team I’ve mentioned so
far where I might be intrigued to place a wager. At number 2, the Florida Panthers. You have to start behind the bench for this
team, as Joel Quenneville was introduced as the Cats’ new head coach shortly after the
2019 regular season ended. Coach Q re-joins General Manager Dale Tallon
with the Panthers, and Tallon made quite the signing for Quenneville on July 1. Though they were also connected to Panarin,
the Panthers were unable to lock up both former Blue Jackets. That said, they did grab goaltender Sergei
Bobrovski in free agency, locking Bob in to a 7-year deal worth 10 million dollars a year. They also signed forwards Noel Acciari and
Brett Connolly to multi-year deals, as well as defenseman Anton Stralman, who they signed
away from in-state rival Tampa. With Roberto Luongo retiring in June, that
freed up about 4 million dollars of cap space for the Cats, as well, and Bobrovski can slide
right in to take his place. With forwards Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander
Barkov and Vincent Trocheck all signed for at least 3 more seasons, the Cats are in good
shape. At +2000, it’s tough to take a team that
hasn’t won a playoff series since 1996 at +2000, but I wouldn’t mind the +1000 flier
bet on the Panthers to win the East. And at number 1, it had to be the New Jersey
Devils. Thanks to the way things have built up in
the last few years, combined with an outstanding 2019 offseason, New Jersey may be on the cusp
of yet another dynasty. The Devils signed Wayne Simmonds to a 1-year
deal worth 5 million dollars, and that was basically their July 1st. But on June 21st, the Devils drafted Jack
Hughes first overall. On June 22nd, new Jersey traded for defenseman
P.K. Subban. They still have plenty of salary cap room
to work with, which will be key if they intend to re-sign some big free agents next summer
like Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier, but New Jersey may just be some consist goaltending
away from being a legitimate Stanley Cup contender… and there’s still plenty of time left for
that. At +5000, New Jersey is easily the best betting
value in the NHL. A +2500 wager to win the East might be safer,
and with a path through the Metropolitan Division to get them to the Eastern Conference Finals,
I’m really liking that one as I sit here on July 1st. As for the biggest losers, we begin at number
3 with the New York Islanders. The Isles were connected to both Sergei Bobrovsky
AND Artemi Panarin this summer, only to see both sign elsewhere. They lost goalie Robin Lehner to Free Agency,
after he signed a 1-year deal with Chicago, and they gave Anders Lee a 7-year deal worth
49 million dollars, making him the highest-paid player on the team. Lee, meanwhile, saw his offensive numbers
dip last season, as he failed to reach the 30-goal mark and finished the year with 51
points. What New York has going for them is their
General Manager is still Lou Lamoriello, and their head coach is still Barry Trotz. Most people thought last summer was a disaster
for the Islanders when John Tavares walked away to sign in Toronto, yet they still won
a Playoff series. They did also manage to lock-up Jordan Eberle
to a 5-year contract with a cap hit of less than half of what Panarin will be paid per
year. They’re still +2800 to win the Cup in 2020,
which can be chalked up to playing in New York and their GM and head coach. I’m staying clear of it. At number 2, it’s the San Jose Sharks. They managed to retain Erik Karlsson on an
8-year contract worth 11.5 million dollars a year, and they brought back Timo Meier for
four years, as well… however, they traded away Justin Braun for a pair of draft picks,
and lost Gustav Nyquist to Columbus, Joonas Donskoi to Colorado, and Joe Pavelski to the
Dallas Stars. As of this writing, Joe Thornton and Patrick
Marleau are both Unrestricted Free Agents, and could both return to the Sharks, but at
the moment… it has not been a good summer in San Jose. The +1700 odds they currently have posting
online has them favored ahead of teams like Washington, Winnipeg and Nashville, and that
is WAY overpriced. The worst offseason in 2019 has belonged to
the Columbus Blue Jackets, and things started so promising. The Jackets won a Playoff series for the first
time in franchise history when they swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round
before being bounced one round later against Boston. While they managed to re-sign goalie Joonas
Korpisalo and defenseman Ryan Murray, it’s been difficult since then. The Blue Jackets did not have a first round
pick this year, thanks to a trade to get Matt Duchene from Ottawa. Duchene signed with Nashville on July 1. They lost goaltender Sergei Bobrovski to Florida,
and lost Artemi Panarin to the Rangers. Gustav Nyquist is the only signing of note
made by the Jackets as of this recording, and there are a number of Restricted Free
Agents still left to be re-signed. It’s a difficult thing to see for a team
that showed so much promise when the 2019 postseason closed. Columbus is now at +3500 odds to win the Cup,
and +1800 to win the East. Neither seems likely at the moment, and those
odds aren’t that appealing given what they probably should be after their July 1st losses. Which team do you think has had the best offseason
so far? Do you have an early 2020 Stanley Cup prediction? Let us know in the comments below. And make sure to like, share, and subscribe
to the Odds On Favorites YouTube channel. I’m Drew Goldfarb, thanks so much for watching. See you next time.

1 Comment

  • Reply jack harrington July 2, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Dude my predators had a great day and my second favorite team the islander's had a men day today 👍.

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