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Odds of NHL Forming Superstar Team Like Golden State

With recent events in the sports world some sportsbook users who bet on NHL might have stumbled across this question. What are the chances of an NHL club assembling a superstar team that resembles the Golden State Warriors?

While most people were busy shooting off fireworks and stuffing their face with hotdogs, Kevin Durant was making it his mission to set the sportsbook world ablaze with his decision to join the Warriors. In doing so Golden State has assembled a team of superstars the likes the NBA has never seen. Naturally, the expectations for this ‘dream team’ are tremendous; some have even joked about the NBA canceling the 2016-17 season and presumptively awarding the title to the Warriors.

But with all jokes aside Durant’s decision has raised eyebrows within different sporting communities. No doubt such a monumental move will impact the odds of any team, so naturally those who bet on NHL games are interested to see if such an assemblage could happen in the NHL.

Most fans of hockey would bet on NHL’s 1976-1977 Montreal Canadiens as being the best team in the league’s history. That Canadiens team had no shortage of hall of famers: Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Larry Robinson and Serge Savard are a few that come to mind. There certainly was plenty of talent on this team as 10 players hit fifty or more goals in that season. In fact this team is probably the closest assemblage the NHL has to compare against the Warriors.

Another team that is often heralded as one of the best is the 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers. This team had the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey, and Jari Kurri to lead them into one of the most established dynasties in NHL history. However, Gretzky’s presence diminishes the value of the super steam in favor of his indisputable reputation as the best hockey player that ever lived.

The problem with hockey, Gretzky being the exception, is that it is hard for one (or even three) superstars to make a tremendous impact. In basketball the best players play roughly three quarters of the game. For comparison, in hockey even the most involved players fall exceedingly short of the half game mark.

Another problem is that in hockey superstars’ impact pale in comparison to the NBA. For example, Stephen Curry’s WAR (Wins Above Replacement) stat pegs him somewhere around 27-28 wins. That means that whatever team Curry plays for he is likely to guarantee them 27-28 additional wins. If we look at the MVP of hockey (in terms of wins added), Joe Pavelski, then you can see a staggering difference between their impacts. Pavelski would add an additional 5.3 wins and 10+ points. While ten points sounds great for any hockey club, it still pales in comparison to the impact that these basketball players would make.

Lastly, the real restriction for an NHL superstar team is the salary cap. What allows NBA franchises to throw money around like its nothing is the NBA’s staggering TV revenue. The salary cap is in place to restrict how much a team can spend, but even if there wasn’t a restriction NHL clubs don’t bring in as much revenue as their NBA counterparts. Nevertheless, sportsbook users who bet on NHL futures can sleep safe at night, knowing that their wagers are protected from the intrusion of an overpowered superstar team.