Roberto Luongo remains a member of the Vancouver Canucks, Vincent Lecavalier is joining the Philadelphia Flyers, and the sportsbooks are now taking action on other potential NHL summer moves as we approach the Friday start of free agency.
The league’s off-season got underway in earnest over the weekend with the NHL draft, with the Canucks making the biggest move of the day when they kept Luongo in the fold and instead dealt Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils for a first-round pick.
So while that goalie competition has ended, one sportsbook tracked by OddsShark.com rekindled the competition with props on who will perform best in 2014. Schneider was the -140 favourite to post a better save percentage and a better goals-against average than Luongo next season, according to Wagering.ca.
Last season, the numbers weren’t close – Schneider was .927 and 2.11, Luongo was .907 and 2.56.
That bet will last longer than the Vincent Lecavalier prop bet, which was almost immediately removed after Philadelphia signed him Tuesday night.
Lecavalier was bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning last week and several teams were reportedly interested in signing the forward this week – including the Montreal Canadiens, the Dallas Stars, and the Detroit Red Wings.
With Lecavalier off the board, three other notable free agents remain the subject of NHL prop bets at the sportsbooks, including AWOL goaltender Tim Thomas who seems ready to end his one-year sabbatical and return to the league.
Thomas being signed by the goalie-challenged, salary-cap-strapped Flyers this summer has been listed at +200 at the sportsbooks.
The Flyers bought out Daniel Briere’s contract this off-season, and the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators are the co-favourites to sign him at +250, followed by the New York Islanders at +325, the Buffalo Sabres at +350, and the Montreal Canadiens at +450. Briere had just 16 points in 34 games for Philadelphia last season.
And Edmonton Oilers fans hoping their team gets some size at forward can get +600 odds that free agent Nathan Horton will leave the Boston Bruins and head up to Alberta for the upcoming season. The “No” side of that prop bet is favoured at -1000 right now.