That’s what most of you may ask of me upon seeing that question. Let’s face it: the NHL’s Northwest Division is no contest this season.
It looks like the Vancouver Canucks will have a nicer cakewalk than any other team in any other division, so their odds to win the Stanley Cup should sit way above their division rivals’.
But do the sportsbooks agree?
Here’s a look at the Stanley Cup futures for each Northwest Division team.
Odds courtesy of BODOG
1. Vancouver Canucks (1-1-1)
Stanley Cup odds: 7 to 2
Vancouver doesn’t just have the top odds of any Northwest team; it has the top odds of any NHL team, leading the entire pack of 30.
It’s a fair assessment by the oddsmakers considering that Vancouver returns virtually the same squad that came within one win of the Holy Grail last season.
It helps that Ryan Kesler’s recovery from hip surgery is going faster than expected.
2. Calgary Flames (0-2-0)
Stanley Cup odds: 40 to 1
To put in perspective how far Vancouver is from its divisional neighbours: Calgary has the next best Stanley Cup odds and is 17th overall in the futures. If Calgary’s first two games are any indication, even 40 to 1 might be generous.
Whereas the other Northwest teams at least have upside, there’s nothing but downside for the aging, declining Flames.
How long until the denial ends and they start selling off their veterans for picks and prospects?
3. Edmonton Oilers (1-0-0)
Stanley Cup odds: 50 to 1
The Oilers are certainly building an impressive foundation of forwards thanks to back-to-back first-overall picks in Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
To become a playoff team, let alone contend for the Stanley Cup, they must improve their goaltending and defense. They haven’t yet. More tough times lie ahead.
4. Colorado Avalanche (2-1-0)
Stanley Cup odds: 75 to 1
Who knows what to expect from Colorado this season? Two years ago, they surprised us and made the playoffs. Last season, they fell flat on their faces with almost the same roster and ended up being dismantled.
With Matt Duchene improving, Erik Johnson solidifying the blueline and Gabriel Landeskog viewed by many as the league’s most mature rookie, Colorado does have some sleeper upside.
5. Minnesota Wild (1-1-1)
Stanley Cup odds: 80 to 1
Is Minnesota a bit undervalued at 80 to 1? I’m not saying you should spend any money picking them to win the Stanley Cup.
But Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi and Mikko Koivu give the Wild perhaps the first real first line they’ve ever had.
If Niklas Backstrom bounces back in goal, this team could have a chance to creep into the playoffs.