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Jets Fall Out of Top-12 Stanley Cup Favorites

Winnipeg Jets celebrate.
The Winnipeg Jets are just 14 months removed from an appearance in the NHL Western Conference final but are listed at odds of +2200 to the win the 2019-20 Stanley Cup.
  • The odds of the Winnipeg Jets winning the 2020 Stanley Cup have jumped to +2200
  • The Jets lost in the Western Conference final in 2018
  • Winnipeg was eliminated in the first round by the St. Louis Blues last spring

The chances of the Winnipeg Jets winning the Stanley Cup next season look to be grounded.

In the latest cross-section of top sportsbooks, the average 2020 Stanley Cup odds for the Jets soared from +1800 to +2200.

2019 NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup Odds

Team Stanley Cup Odds at Bovada*
Vegas Golden Knights +1000
Colorado Avalanche +1200
St. Louis Blues +1500
Nashville Predators +1800
San Jose Sharks +1800
Dallas Stars +2000
Calgary Flames +2000
Winnipeg Jets +2200
Chicago Blackhawks +3300
Edmonton Oilers +3500

*Odds taken on 08/09/19.

Winnipeg hasn’t seen a team playing in the Stanley Cup final since before the NHL’s  invention. It was in 1907-08, when the Winnipeg Maple Leafs suffered defeat at the hands of the Montreal Wanderers.

Leaving The Jets Plain

If the Jets were an airport, they’d only require departure gates, since there were virtually no arrivals to Winnipeg during the offseason.

It’s been a summer of exodus from the hockey team situated in the Manitoba capital. The Jets were downsized in a hurry.

One half of the club’s top six defenders bid adieu. Jacob Trouba, who was due for unrestricted free agency next summer, was dealt to the New York Rangers for defenseman Neal Pionk. Trouba soon inked a long-term deal with the Rangers.

Tyler Myers (Vancouver Canucks) and Ben Chiarot (Montreal Canadiens) opted to move on via UFA. Useful bottom-six forward Brandon Tanev also left as a UFA, signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A trade sent the rights to UFA center Kevin Hayes, last season’s big trade deadline addition from the Rangers, to the Philadelphia Flyers, who quickly got Hayes to agree to a lengthy pact.

Jets Have More Trouble Brewing

Forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, both of them 30-goal scorers last season, are restricted free agents. They’re looking to cash in financially for the first time as pros via significant pay increases.

Laine and Connor combined to score 64 goals last year, just under 24 per cent of the 272 goals the Jets tallied during the 2018-19 campaign.

The Less Of More Initiative

There’s a line in the comedy W1A, a TV show in which the BBC spoofs itself, that perfectly sums of the corporate lie regarding downsizing. “The fact is this is about identifying what we do best and finding more ways of doing less of it better,” one of the management types explains.

This game-plan also appears to be the blueprint going forward for Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Other than Pionk, no additions of significance were brought in this summer. Guys who weren’t good enough to make the team last season – defensemen Nathan Beaulieu, Sami Niku and Tucker Poolman and forward Mason Appleton – must now be counted on to fill regular roles.

This is the reality of life for a small-market team like Winnipeg. It’s also a recipe for disaster.

The Western Conference Won’t Be Won

The Jets have dropped into a tie for 13th-best odds to win the 2019-20 Stanley Cup. That means the oddsmakers view the Jets as a bubble team at best in terms of the playoff picture.

Seven Western Conference teams show better Stanley Cup odds than the Jets. Unless the Edmonton Oilers or Arizona Coyotes finally get their acts together, Winnipeg probably stays in a postseason position. But the Jets will again be first-round playoff fodder.

You’d be wiser betting on it not to snow in Winnipeg this winter than you’d be risking anything on the Jets winning the 2019-20 Stanley Cup.

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