Of the major American team sports, no league features more parity than professional hockey. That’s still the case at the start of the 2021 NHL season, when several teams have a legitimate chance of competing for the Stanley Cup.

The Colorado Avalanche are the early favorites with +650 betting odds to win the championship, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Colorado finished last season tied for third in points, though the team failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs. The Avalanche added Brandon Saad and Devon Toews in the offseason to bolster their chances.

The defending champion Tampa Bay Lighting are the second pick with +850 title odds. Tampa Bay was second in the Eastern Conference in points before going 16-6 in the playoffs. Nikita Kucherov, who led the league in points two years ago, will miss the entire season with a hip injury.

The Vegas Golden Knights also have +850 Stanley Cup odds. Vegas lost in the 2020 conference finals, two years after reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in its expansion season. 

The Dallas Stars made it all the way to the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals, but they aren't heavy favorites to return. With +2400 odds, they trail 11 other teams.

The Toronto Maple Leafs (+1200), Boston Bruins (+1400), Philadelphia Flyers (+1500) and Carolina Hurricanes (+1700) are considered to be potential contenders. The Pittsburgh Penguins (+2000), St. Louis Blues (+2000), Edmonton Oilers (+2200) and Washington Capitals (+2300) have shots to make a championship run if things break their way.

The New York Islanders (+2800) have their work cut out for them in trying to reach the conference finals for a second straight season. They’ve got worse odds than the New York Rangers (+2600), who didn’t win a game in the qualifying round of the NHL’s 2020 playoff tournament.

The Detroit Red Wings are the longest shots with +20000 championship odds. The Ottawa Senators (+10000) and Los Angeles Kings (+7500) aren’t far behind. 

Stanley Cup Prediction: Boston over Colorado

Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point celebrates after scoring a goal in the Lightning's 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars to claim their second Stanley Cup crown in franchise history Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point celebrates after scoring a goal in the Lightning's 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars to claim their second Stanley Cup crown in franchise history Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / BRUCE BENNETT