Central Division NHL Odds to Win
(The Spread) - The odds to win the Central Division in the NHL next season are out, and the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks are favored.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Blackhawks are 5/8 favorites to win the Central Division in the 2013-14 NHL season, while the Blues have the next-best odds at 13/4. The Wild, meanwhile, are 6/1 and the Stars are 12/1.
Continuing with those odds, the Predators are 18/1 to win the Central Division next season, while the Avalanche are 20/1 and the Jets have the worst odds at 22/1.
The Blackhawks did a nice job this offseason keeping their winning core intact through the 2014-15 season. They have roughly $36.6 million committed to seven players through 2015-16, although they still need to re-sign Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane before they become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2015. Still, this is a dynasty that the Hawks are building in Chicago.
The Blues, meanwhile, added center Derek Roy in the offseason in efforts to add to their offense. And really, that's the only thing missing in St. Louis right now. Under head coach Ken Hitchcock, their defense and goaltending has been outstanding the past season and a half. But goal scoring has been an issue for them the past two postseasons so until they can overcome their lack of scoring, they'll likely fizzle out in the postseason once again.