By Adrian Dater | | 3 mins
NY Rangers Stanley Cup Odds Cut in Half With Panarin Signing
The Bread Man moves markets.
That much was evident today, when the New York Rangers’ free-agent signing of star winger Artemi Panarin cut their Stanley Cup bettting odds down by more than half from what they were just a few weeks ago.
Panarin, who signed a seven-year, $81.5 million deal with the Rangers, now plays for a team that is +3000 in NHL futures markets to win the Cup in 2020, at 888Sport. Right after the St. Louis Blues won the Cup last month, the Rangers were at +6500.
Why Panarin makes that much difference
Panarin, nicknamed “Bread Man” in kinda-sorta spelling honor of the eatery, Panera, is one of the most skilled forwards in the NHL. He had 87 points (28 goals) in 79 games for Columbus last season. His lowest-scoring season came in 2016-17 with Chicago, a paltry 74 points in 82 games.
The Blackhawks foolishly traded him away to Columbus in a salary cap crunch two years ago, and they haven’t been the same team since. Panarin had heavy interested from other teams with lots of salary cap room, including the New York Islanders, Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers.
Losers on Panarin see Stock Drop
The Islanders entered free-agent day reportedly in the lead to land Panarin, and their Stanley Cup odds early Monday morning were +2300. After it was announced Panarin would go to the rival Rangers instead, the Islanders dropped to +3500 at 888Sport.
The Panthers, reportedly in the lead to land the Bread Man at one point, too, went from +1700 Monday morning to +2500 by the afternoon.Colorado actually saw their odds improve, from +1700 to +1600.
The Blue Jackets, in the top 10 most of last season as odds-on Cup favorites, are now near the bottom of the pack, at +4000. They also took a hit with the free-agent loss of Matt Duchene to Nashville.
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Don’t Overpay on Rangers Just Yet Though
It’s probably going to take a bit more than just Panarin for the Rangers to be considered true Stanley Cup threats for the coming season, however. The Rangers still have problems in goal - an aging Henrik Lundqvist remains the No. 1 - and the defense remains iffy.
But there is no question this is a much better team than it was just 10 days ago. At the NHL draft in Vancouver last weekend, the Rangers selected Finnish stud winger Kaapo Kakko with the second overall selection.
The Blueshirts are certainly a much better pick as a Cup darkhorse all of a sudden, but don’t bet the ranch just yet. After all, hockey teams do not live on bread alone.