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NHL Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks Are Early Favorites For The 2014-15 Stanley Cup

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the 2013-14 NHL season, many analysts chose the Los Angeles Kings to win the Stanley Cup. Being proven right, talk has already begun about the upcoming offseason and who could return to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014-15. It is believed that both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Kings will rematch for the Western Conference, as both teams are so deep and their core group of players set, but the conference is loaded with Stanley Cup potential teams, and anyone could take it next season. The Eastern Conference, on the other hand, is weaker. Teams like the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins will be favorites again in the East.

That being said, Bovada, a Las Vegas sports gambling entity, came out with their latest odds for each NHL team to win the Stanley Cup. After winning two of the last three Stanley Cups, many would think that the Kings are the favorite to win the cup in 2014 to solidify a dynasty title. Those people would be wrong. Bovada actually chose the Kings’ latest rival, the Blackhawks, to reclaim the Stanley Cup in 2015. The Hawks are the extremely early favorites at 15/2 odds, followed by the Bruins at 8/1 odds, and the Penguins at 9/1 odds. The now defending Stanley Cup Champion Kings are fourth on the list at 10/1 odds.

While the Blackhawks did not win the cup this year, they were a favorite to win throughout the 2013 season, and it is not a shock to hawk fans that they will again be competing for the chance to win it all again next season.

The Blackhawks arguably have the deepest roster in the NHL, with the core of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook leading the squad. This Blackhawks team was assembled by owner Rocky Wirtz and GM Stan Bowman, who continue to keep the future in mind as they make roster moves that will improve the team. The minor league system that the Blackhawks have is one of the best in the AHL, and it shows when they are able to pull up players from the Rockford IceHogs and plug them into the lineup.

If the Blackhawks want to prove Bovada right, they will need to make numerous decisions in this off season on key players who helped them get to the Western Conference Finals. The Blackhawks are in great shape, and with the leadership in the organization, they have a bright future for years to come.

A complete list of the Bovada Stanley Cup odds:

Chicago Blackhawks 15/2
Boston Bruins 8/1
Pittsburgh Penguins 9/1
Los Angeles Kings 10/1
St. Louis Blues 10/1
Anaheim Ducks 14/1
San Jose Sharks 14/1
Colorado Avalanche 18/1
Minnesota Wild 18/1
New York Rangers 18/1
Detroit Red Wings 22/1
Montreal Canadiens 25/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 25/1
Vancouver Canucks 25/1
Philadelphia Flyers 28/1
Dallas Stars 33/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 33/1
Washington Capitals 33/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 40/1
New Jersey Devils 40/1
Carolina Hurricanes 50/1
Edmonton Oilers 50/1
Ottawa Senators 50/1
Phoenix Coyotes 50/1
Winnipeg Jets 50/1
Calgary Flames 66/1
Florida Panthers 66/1
Nashville Predators 66/1
New York Islanders 66/1
Buffalo Sabres 75/1

Steven Kriegshauser is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @SteveKriegs, “Like” him on  Facebook or add him to your network on Google.