The NHL futures for the upcoming season have been released and it is no real surprise that last season’s Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, have been opened as the 6-1 favorites to successfully defend their title.
They have also been listed as 5-2 favorites to win the Western Conference, according to OddsShark.com's NHL odds menus.
Looking at the odds to win the 2014 Stanley Cup for a few of the other top contending teams in the West, you have the Los Angeles Kings listed at 6/1 to win the conference and at 12-1 to win a second Cup in three years.
The favorite to win the East are the Pittsburgh Penguins at 3-1, and they have been set as 15/2 second-favorites to put it all together this season and win another Stanley Cup. The Boston Bruins are second-favorites to win the East at 5-1 and third-favorites to win it all at 10-1.
One of the new additions to the Eastern Conference, and playing out of the Atlantic Division along with the Bruins, is Detroit, which has been opened at 17-2 to win the conference and at 16-1 to win a championship from the other side of the bracket.
The odds for a few other contenders heading into the new season have the San Jose Sharks at 17-2 to win the West and at 18-1 to win the Cup, and the New York Rangers at 12-1 to win the East and at 20-1 to win it all.
Two teams to watch this season are the Edmonton Oilers in the West and the Ottawa Senators in the East. The Oilers have been set at 12-1 to win their conference and at 22-1 to win the Cup, and the Senators are listed at 11-1 to win the East and also at 22-1 to win it all.
The NHL has a whole new look this season because of league realignment. There is still an Eastern and Western Conference, but it has been pared down to the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions in the East and the Central and Pacific divisions in the West.
To help balance out the overall 82-game schedule, the other big change has Detroit and Columbus shifting from the West to the East.