by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Calgary Flames have kept busy since the opening of the NHL free agent market, most notably by signing netminder Jacob Markstrom. But despite addressing the team’s long-term need between the pipes the Flames have failed to gain traction on the early 2021 Stanley Cup odds, where they lag as a +4000 wager at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
By signing Markstrom to a six-year, $36 million contract, the Flames hope to have added their first bona fide star goaltender since Miikka Kiprusoff’s departure back in 2013. And the Flames also bolstered their defense with the signing of Chris Tanev to a four-year deal.
After finishing atop the Western Conference standings a year ago, the Flames endured a roller coaster campaign this past season. Plagued at times by lengthy scoring slumps, Calgary trailed only New Jersey and Detroit with six shutout losses during the regular season.
The Flames offense showed signs of life upon entering the playoff bubble, averaging four goals per game during a qualifying series win over Winnipeg. However, the club saw its offensive struggles return while falling to Dallas in six games. That series defeat also marked the seventh time the Flames have bowed out in the first round in their past eight playoff appearances, a narrative they must rewrite if they are to regain the confidence of bettors.
It remains a familiar three-way race atop the early 2021 Stanley Cup odds at betting sites, with the newly crowned champion Lightning listed as narrow +750 favorites, just ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights, who sit deadlocked at +800.
Tampa Bay has maintained its perch as Stanley Cup betting favorite despite parting ways with several key contributors as they address a salary cap squeeze. Among the players leaving town have been defencemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Zach Bogosian, while forward Tyler Johnson’s future with the team remains uncertain.
Both Colorado and Vegas have also been busy reshaping their rosters. The Avalanche have been active on the trade market, pulling the trigger on deals to acquire forward Brandon Saad and rearguard Devon Toews. The Golden Knights have made the biggest free agent splash of the offseason, inking defenceman Alex Pietrangelo and goaltender Robin Lehner.
Further down the 2021 Stanley Cup odds, the Boston Bruins are listed at +1200. The Toronto Maple Leafs are joined by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at +1800 on those NHL odds, while the Stars and Philadelphia Flyers each sport +2000 odds.