Dallas Stars: Updated Stanley Cup Odds After Day One Of Free Agency

When the 2020 Stanley Cup odds were released shortly after the St. Louis Blues secured the title, the Dallas Stars were pinned near the middle of the pack. But after day one of Free Agency, they were given substantially different odds.

July 1 was another busy day for the Dallas Stars. And while there’s nothing out of the ordinary about that, it was an interesting day to observe.

That’s due in large part to GM Jim Nill‘s element of unexpectedness. While bringing in multiple players via the trade market or free agent market on July 1 isn’t unexpected, the caliber of players tends to vary. In 2017, he added superstar names like Ben Bishop and Alexander Radulov as a few other well-known veterans. One summer later, however, he focused on depth and added Blake Comeau, Valeri Nichushkin, Roman Polak, and Anton Khudobin.

There’s no telling where the Dallas GM may go in a certain offseason, regardless of how well the team fared in the prior season.

While watching Nill add new talent and retool his roster, though, it’s also a chance to hear his thoughts and the thoughts of the coaches and new players. After wrapping up the significant moves for the day, Nill, Jim Montgomery, and the Stars’ top additions talked to the media about the day itself and shared their thoughts on the 2019-20 season.

And in this year’s media availability, they all shared a handful of common answers. One of them ran along the lines of this:

The Dallas Stars fell one goal short of knocking the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues out of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While there were different questions that were answered similarly by multiple people, a variation of this answer was continually thrown around. There’s a reason for that.

The fact of the matter is that the Dallas Stars came closer to knocking the Blues out of the postseason than any other team. They took the 2019 Cup champions to double overtime of Game 7 and had a handful of chances to end the series in their favor. But after failing to capitalize on them, St. Louis cashed in and moved on to the Western Conference Final.

“But Dallas has always been a place where I would love to play and like I said, you look at the lineup they have and being one shot away from a conference final, it’s definitely promising and I’m looking forward to adding to it.” –Corey Perry on why he chose Dallas

And whether you want to argue that they still have a long ways to go before they are a Stanley Cup contender or that they aren’t very far off, those are the facts.

“St. Louis showed everybody that’s how you have to play, and we were right there with St. Louis.” –Jim Nill on what he felt his roster needed

But when the Blues hoisted the Cup and Vegas released the early odds for the 2020 Stanley Cup champions, the Stars were found near the middle of the pack. BetOnline gave Dallas 28/1 odds to win next year’s title, while Bovada pinned them at 30/1. Both odds put the Stars in a tie for 15th among all NHL teams.

It was a pretty standard spot for the Dallas Stars. While you may have wanted to make the argument that they should have been higher considering they were one of the final six teams standing in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the odds of their success carrying over are uncertain. That’s because every NHL season is different and teams rise and fall frequently. Remember when the Stars didn’t qualify for the previous two postseasons before the 2018-19 campaign? Things can change quickly.

Factoring them in at 30/1 doesn’t put them too high or too low, but just right in the average zone.

But after July 1, those odds look substantially different.

As mentioned above, the Dallas Stars dug in once Free Agency opened. They signed two free agent All-Star forwards in Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry, adding leadership and scoring power to the lineup, and also signed veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera to further balance out the mixture of youth and experience on the blue line.

In a lot of ways, the Stars used July 1 to fix some of their glaring problems from the 2018-19 season. Dallas had offensive issues that resulted in a lack of consistent scoring, couldn’t find a dominant stride on the power play during the season, and had a lack of veteran leadership on their blue line.

The hope is that Nill managed to fix all of those issues with the additions of Pavelski, Perry, and Sekera. He also managed to do it all while staying under the salary cap and giving the team some breathing room to take care of a few housekeeping items (such as re-signing Jason Dickinson to a new contract).

And when you combine all of those factors together, it certainly looks as though the Dallas Stars are in a better place than they were on June 12 when the initial 2020 Stanley Cup odds were released.

According to the new odds from BetOnline, the Stars jumped from 28/1 to 20/1 following their moves on the first day of Free Agency. That puts them in a three-way tie with the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins and puts them tied for the 12th-best odds in the League.

Some things, like Tampa Bay, Boston, and Vegas owning the top three spots, didn’t change. On the other hand, Nashville jumped from 22/1 to 16/1 after adding Matt Duchene and the New York Rangers vaulted half of the league, going from 66/1 to 25/1 after the addition of Artemi Panarin.

But for the Stars, 20/1 sounds like a pretty fair spot for now. It seems as though their offseason additions will shore up a lot of the weak spots in the lineup and should help further round out the team.

Next: Joe Pavelski Ready To Help Stars Take Next Step

And if they can get another solid year from the parts that flourished (defense, goaltending, penalty kill) in 2018-19, those odds just might on the uptick sooner rather than later.

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