Hockey betting fans have an attractive list of bona fide challengers to the Chicago Blackhawks for online hockey betting supremacy in the Western Conference in 2010-11.
The Blackhawks opened as +500 favorites at Sports-Gambling to win the Stanley Cup while the Vancouver Canucks were the second choice out of the Western Conference at +900 to win the Cup.
Perennial contender Detroit was at +1100 while perennial choker San Jose opened at +1300 to finally break through and hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup next June. The upstart Los Angeles Kings were a +1500 selection.
The Chicago Blackhawks may be the defending Stanley Cup Champions but they will enter the 2010-11 ice hockey betting season with a vastly different lineup as the NHL’s salary structure meant that the Hawks had to unload talent to stay within the cap.
Goaltender Antti Niemi, who backstopped the Cup run last spring, along with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who was a clutch playoff performer, are both gone. A strong nucleus remains, however, with center Jonathan Toews, forward Patrick Kane, and the defense tandem of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.
Vancouver has plenty of big name betting hockey assets of their own starting with Canadian Gold Medal winning goaltender Roberto Luongo. The Sedin brothers (center Henrik and forward Daniel) are also key contributors.
Center Ryan Kesler, along with newly acquired defensemen Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard, make for one of the most talented rosters in the NHL.
Detroit is aging fast with 13 players that will turn 30 years of age or older this year. But age has been a concern regarding Detroit for many years now and they always seem to find a way into the playoffs and this year expects to be no different with centers Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
The defense remains among the elite in the NHL as well.
San Jose is a consistently big hockey betting winner in the regular season only to implode in the playoffs. With forwards Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton, and Joe Pavelski along with defenseman Dan Boyle, the talent is there for a long and deep run.
Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi has been stockpiling top draft picks and progress is showing.