Colorado Avalanche +400
It really is no surprise that the Colorado Avalanche continue to be the favorite to win the 2023 Stanley Cup after winning in 2022. They didn't really lose many players this offseason from that Championship squad, so there is no reason for their odds to drop as the defending champs. They did lose goaltender Darcy Kuemper to the Washington Capitals in free agency, but Colorado should still be in pretty good shape in net. They acquired New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev this offseason to replace Kuemper, and it seems as though he will split time with backup Pavel Francouz, who did a fine job this past season.
It is very possible that Colorado loses playoff hero and superstar Nazem Kadri, which would easily be their biggest loss after winning the championship, but losing him isn't the end all of their upcoming season. They would likely replace him with young Alex Newhook, and while he won't have that same offense that Kadri would bring to the team, he can grow alongside some of the biggest superstars in the sport.
There is no reason to worry about this team at all, and you can count on them to be right there as one of the top seeds when the playoffs finally begin next year.
Vegas Golden Knights +2000
Vegas is a team that saw their odds turn downwards this offseason from where they were last year. Most of that can be attributed to the salary cap casualties that they had to endure, losing several of their most notable players because they couldn't afford to keep them. They sent Evgenii Dadonov to Montreal for the rest of Shea Weber’s contract, which is hefty, but will be over soon. They traded superstar Max Pacioretty to the Carolina Hurricanes for practically nothing. He may not be the player he was in his prime, but it certainly hurts the team in a big way. Future considerations? The guy scored 19 goals and 37 points in 39 games. He's still a good player and can score with the best of them, and he was traded for peanuts because they couldn't afford him.
The Golden Knights still have a solid team, with guys like Jack Eichel and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, but they missed the playoffs this past season with those guys on the team. Now with the loss of Pacioretty, it seems like sportsbooks have started to lose faith in the young franchise. They did hire Bruce Cassidy, who is a great head coach and very smart guy, so it is possible that they turn things around under him.
Nashville Predators +3500
Nashville has perhaps made the biggest jump up on the odds board this offseason. Any time you jump from a +6000 afterthought to a +3500 contender, it can open some eyes. There are several reasons why they moved up to where they are now, and that begins with being able to keep superstar sniper Filip Forsberg, signing him to an eight-year, $68-million deal. He is an absolutely essential part of their team, so keeping him means that they should continue to compete instead of falling by the wayside. They also signed Nino Niederreiter, who is a very underrated player that put up some good numbers last year.
The Predators had the 13th-best offense last year, believe it or not. Forsberg was just unstoppable, with 42 goals and 84 points in 69 games. Now you see why it was so important that they were able to pay him. By signing Niederreiter, they give Forsberg that partner in crime on the top line to bolster their scoring. Niederreiter put up 24 goals and 44 points in 72 games for Carolina last year.
It was shocking when they made the playoffs in 2022, as they were predicted to be one of the bottom feeders in the NHL. Sportsbooks have started to take notice that they could be a team to make a run when the time comes, with solid defense and a great goaltender in Juuse Soros. Now with the offensive firepower returning with a boost, it could be time to take the Predators seriously in 2023.