The Stanley Cup has proven in recent years to be the most unpredictable of trophies.
Three of the past four Cup champions entered the season outside of the top five Vegas odds-on favorites. The 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings, in fact, began the campaign with 14-1 odds and the playoffs with 20-1 odds.
With an offseason of improvement behind them and plethora of young talent waiting in the wings, several NHL teams will enter the coming season hoping to be the surprise Cup victor of 2013-14. All four will hope to build upon their 2013 postseason appearances to make a deep run next spring.
Which franchises could be dark horses to win the Stanley Cup this year? We predict and break down four particularly strong candidates on the coming slides.
Note: Vegas odds are provided by Bovada, courtesy of OddsShark.com.