If you bet on NHL playoffs last year and picked the Dallas Stars over the St. Louis Blues then you’re probably wishing you’d gone with the favorites. The Stars would’ve liked to capitalize on a more successful season, but a second round playoff exit shows more than enough promise for next year. In fact the sportsbooks have them as slight favorites over the Blues for next year’s Stanley Cup.
Odds to Win 2016 – 2017 Stanley Cup
Dallas Stars +1275
St. Louis Blues +1425
By making it to the second round last season Dallas was able to end a playoff-win drought that had been looming over the Stars since 2008. Next season they’ll be looking to disperse the Stanley Cup drought that’s been hanging over them since 1999. Last season’s success was founded on the superb play from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin who were the Star’s offensive powerhouse.
Benn finished the season with 89 points and 41 goals, second only to Chicago Blackhawk’s Patrick Kane. Those who bet on NHL games often consider Benn to be the best player on the Stars’ squad and Dallas proved they couldn’t agree more by signing Benn to an eight-year contract worth $76 million. While Benn might have been able to get more money elsewhere, it is comforting to see mutual interest in both a player and a franchise.
After having surgeries on both hips last offseason Benn was still able to play all 82 games regular season games. The Star’s captain was even able to stay healthy well into the playoffs, and he proved it by posting five goals and 10 assists over 13 postseason games. This offseason Benn is having abdominal surgery to repair a core muscle injury. While it is unclear when or how the 27-year old sustained the injury it is clear that his recovery time is estimated to be 6 weeks. After 6 weeks Benn will be reevaluated and if he is cleared he should have no problem representing Canada in the World Cup of Hockey. Last season Benn proved that he has no difficulty recovering from surgery and Dallas’ forward will be looking to make this his 3rd straight season with all 82 games played.
Benn’s contract also paints a picture for what sort of money Seguin can expect to receive in the future. While Seguin was a key component of Dallas’ offense last season, he’s no Art Ross Trophy recipient.
The Star’s will be looking for their two star’s two help them continue their success into next season, but they might have a harder time. The sportsbooks definitely think they can get it done but this time around teams will be approaching the stars a lot more carefully. The Central Division has proven to be unpredictable in the past; in the last two seasons one of the two teams who had been at the bottom jumped to the top. Last season it was Dallas and Nashville managed to pull it off the previous year. With the return of Seguin, who missed the end of the regular season and the majority of the playoffs due to injury, the Stars’ will be serious contenders for taking the Central Division. If you think they can take it all the way then now’s the time to take that +1275 bet on NHL futures.