The Avalanche are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
At +750 odds, Colorado leads the Vegas Golden Knights (+800) and the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning (+900). The Detroit Red Wings have the worst odds at +30000.
The Avs entered the summer with more cap space than most of the contenders around the league. While rumors were centered around Colorado adding a big-name free agent, most notably Taylor Hall or Alex Pietrangelo, it was the trade market where general manager Joe Sakic added to an already deep lineup.
Sakic traded defenseman Nikita Zadorov and minor-leaguer Anton Lindholm to Chicago for forward Brandon Saad and depth defenseman Dennis Gilbert. Saad’s addition gives the Avalanche a sixth weapon on the top two lines.
To replace Zadorov, Colorado traded 2021 and 2022 second round draft picks to the New York Islanders for Devon Toews.
Sakic’s ability to leverage his cap space and acquire a proven top-four defenseman for draft picks gave the Avs an upper hand. The Golden Knights ended up adding Pietrangelo, but in order to meet his contract demands, they had to ship out second-line center Paul Stastny and defenseman Nate Schmidt for little return.
Meanwhile, the Lightning, who likely will see their odds change before the season begins, still have plenty of offseason work to do. Young defensemen Nikita Sergachev and Erik Cernak along with center Anthony Cirelli are all without contracts. Tampa Bay has less than three million in cap space and likely will need to clear upwards of $10 million in order to re-sign its young stars.
Outside of trading Nikita Zadorov, the Avs lost Matt Nieto and trade-deadline rental Vladislav Namestnikov to free agency.
DraftKings also has Colorado’s superstar center Nathan MacKinnon as the favorite to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP. His +650 odds narrowly beats out Connor McDavid (+700) and is well ahead of third-place Artemi Panarin (+1000).