Chances are, as of this writing, that Lord Stanley’s Cup is still making the rounds of players and personnel of the 2016 champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Even though NHL training camps won’t open for at least another two months (players report for physicals on Sept. 11 and hit the ice Sept. 12), it’s never too soon to look ahead.
As always, the biggest question going into any NHL season is which team will win the Stanley Cup. The 2016-17 campaign, which opens Oct. 8 (one week after the World Cup of Hockey championship game in Toronto), with Toronto and Ottawa dropping the puck at 7 p.m., is no different.
For the Penguins to repeat, they’ll have to ignore a bit of history this season. There have been no two-time Cup winners since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998. The Penguins, however, did win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991-92, during their Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr heydays, so it’s in their hockey DNA.
So, which team will take one last lap around a rink next June holding the Stanley Cup to the heavens? These 10 teams, based on early bettings odds and 40-plus years of gut instinct, have the best chance:
Source: Fox Sports