“Why not us?,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka asked reporters rhetorically after acquiring 2017-18 NHL MVP Taylor Hall on Monday for three prospects and two draft picks, a move that impacts the Stanley Cup futures betting market.
“We want to take a run at things here,” Chayka said. “We ask our questions here internally like, ‘Why not us?’ We’ve got a good group. We’ve got a chance to contend. You can always look to future years and say, ‘What if?’ But when we’ve got a chance right now, we wanted to take our shot.”
Hall is a free agent after this season, but Arizona is in it to win it now. First place in the Pacific Division at 19-12-4 ahead of Tuesday’s game at the Sharks, the Coyotes’ odds to lift the Stanley Cup shortened from 16/1 to 14/1 after the deal for Hall. The 28-year-old has six goals and 19 assists in 30 games this season. He put up 93 points in 76 games during his MVP season with the Devils.
In the span of seven months, the Coyotes have traded for both Phil Kessel and Hall to add to a young core featuring leading scorers Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and goaltenders Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta. Arizona hasn’t made the playoffs since 2012, but as the Blues proved last season, anything is possible in the NHL.
St. Louis is playing like last year’s last-to-first run as once-300/1 longshots wasn’t a fluke. The Western Conference leaders are 14/1 to repeat as champions, trailing the Bruins, Capitals, Avalanche, Golden Knights, Lightning and Stars on the conference futures board.
At 6/1 odds, the Bruins sit atop the future board as sole favorites to avenge last season’s loss to the Blues and lift the Stanley Cup. Boston ended a five-game losing streak on Saturday but is back on home ice for seven of its next nine games, beginning Tuesday vs. the Kings, as it looks to regain the Eastern Conference lead back from the Capitals.
2020 Stanley Cup odds update
|Tampa Bay LIGHTNING||6/1||12/1|
|Toronto MAPLE LEAFS||10/1||14/1|
|Vegas GOLDEN KNIGHTS||10/1||12/1|
|San Jose SHARKS||14/1||30/1|
|St Louis BLUES||16/1||14/1|
|New York ISLANDERS||20/1||20/1|
|Columbus BLUE JACKETS||20/1||300/1|
|New York RANGERS||60/1||80/1|
|New Jersey DEVILS||60/1||300/1|
|Detroit RED WINGS||80/1||2000/1|
|Los Angeles KINGS||80/1||500/1|