Avalanche head into offseason atop 2021 Stanley Cup odds

Colorado Avalanche's Nazem Kadri (91) celebrates his goal with Mikko Rantanen (96), Andre Burakovsky (95) and Cale Makar (8) against the Dallas Stars during second period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Friday, September 4, 2020. (Jason Franson/CP)

The Colorado Avalanche made an early exit from this year's playoffs, but that post-season result has not dampened their position on the NHL betting futures as they lead the way as +650 favourites on the 2021 Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Avalanche sat at or near the top of the NHL futures for most of last season, while finishing second in the Western Conference with 92 points. However, the club once again came up short in the post-season, falling to the eventual Western Conference champion Dallas Stars in seven games in the second round, and have now failed to reach the conference finals in nine playoff appearances since 2002.

Fresh off their first championship run since 2004, the Tampa Bay Lightning sit second to the Avalanche, joining the Vegas Golden Knights at +700 on the early Stanley Cup odds for next season at online betting sites. The Boston Bruins follow at +1200, ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who lead all Canadian-based NHL clubs as a +1500 wager.

The Lightning closed out the regular season as the NHL's highest scoring team, but were able to come out of the bubble as Stanley Cup champions thanks to a deep lineup that featured the right mix of both talent and grit. However, with only 15 players signed for next season, and just over $5.3 million of cap space available, the Lightning could face some hard choices over the offseason.

With virtually no cap space available, the Golden Knights also face a difficult offseason ahead. However, the club took a major step forward in addressing their future goaltending needs by inking Robin Lehner to a five-year deal. That makes it likely that the team will address their cap needs by finding a new home for netminder Marc-Andre Fleury and his contract, which carries a $7 million cap hit.

The Maple Leafs face a lot of hard questions entering this offseason after failing to make it past the qualifying round. Toronto has already been involved in one major offseason trade, shipping Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Further down those NHL odds heading into the offseason, the Philadelphia Flyers join the Washington Capitals at +1600, followed by the Penguins at +1800, while the Stars sit alongside the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers at +2000.

Following yet another early playoff exit, the Calgary Flames find themselves lagging as a +3000 wager on the early Stanley Cup odds for 2021. The Winnipeg Jets sit at +3500, well ahead of the Montreal Canadiens at +6000, while the Ottawa Senators lead only the Detroit Red Wings as a distant +10000 wager.

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