- There could be an all-Canadian division in the NHL in 2020-21
- The Toronto Maple Leafs have opened as +175 favorites to win the division
- See the odds for a potential all-Canadian division along with betting advice, below
Talk of the NHL going with an all-Canadian division for next season has led oddsmakers to release two prop bets pertaining to the hypothetical scenario. You can wager on whether there will actually be an all-Canadian division, and which team would win if that were the case.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have opened as +175 favorites in a potential all-canadian division. The Leafs added some solid depth pieces in free agency and have the best 2021 Stanley Cup odds out of the Canadian squads.
Will there actually be an all-Canadian division in the 2020-21 season? Which team would present the best value to win?
Will There Be an NHL All Canadian Division Next Season?
All odds taken Oct. 19
All-Canadian Division is Real Possibility
Strong speculation that the NHL will go with an all-Canadian division next season has led to prop bets being released pertaining to the potential scenario. The speculations stem from the current COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the border between Canada and the United States remains closed.
While nothing has been made official by the NHL, Las Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley hinted at the division in an interview. While talking about trading defenseman Nate Schmidt to a division rival, the Vancouver Canucks, Foley said the risk would be minimized next season due to the “Canadian division”.
Golden Knights owner Bill Foley to @BrianBlessing on Vegas Hockey Hotline on facing Nate Schmidt/Canucks: "Yeah, but they're going to be in the Canadian division."
— David Schoen 📰🗞🏒 (@DavidSchoenLVRJ) October 14, 2020
The hypothetical division makes sense because the border is likely to remain closed for the foreseeable future. Player have already stated that they won’t do bubbles for a full season like they did in the 2020 playoffs. We already knew the NHL was going to have to get creative to make a season happen.
An all-Canadian division is a distinct possibility if the NHL can make a 2021 season happen, but the biggest concern is whether there’s even a season. Many teams rely on gate revenue and need fans in attendance. Gary Bettman has stated he wants to begin the new season on Jan. 1 with fans in the buildings. That doesn’t seem very realistic with COVID-19 cases soaring in the US and Canada dealing with its own second wave of the virus.
If the NHL appears to make progress on a potential modified bubble format in the coming weeks, consider betting ‘yes’ in this prop before any official announcement on divisions get made.
Best Bet: Yes (-105)
2020-21 NHL All Canadian Division Odds
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+175|
Retooled Maple Leafs Favored In All-Canadian Division
The Toronto Maple Leafs are favored to win the all-Canadian division after finishing with the second-best regular-season record out of all the Canadian squads in 2020. They failed to qualify for the playoffs, however, losing in the qualifying round to the Blue Jackets.
There’s once again hype surrounding the Leafs after the moves they made in free agency. Toronto brought in two-way blueliner TJ Brodie to replace Tyson Barrie and added power forward Wayne Simmonds and veteran playmaker Joe Thornton. They also bolstered their defensive depth by signing Zach Bogosian and backup netminder Aaron Dell.
Joe Thornton on choosing #Leafs: "It's the hardest hockey decision I've ever had to make, but I truly believe with the roster they have, with the guys they picked up this offseason, I think this team is ready to win now, [and] I'm ready to win."
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) October 18, 2020
The Leafs are loaded on offense with Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares, but it’s their defense that has been the issue. This isn’t the playoffs, however, and the Leafs’ recent regular-season success speaks for itself. Over the last three years, Winnipeg (293) is the only Canadian team with more points than Toronto (286).
Betting this prop doesn’t just mean betting the best team, however. You have to bet the team that is going to matchup the best against the other Canadian squads. Here’s a look at how the Canadian teams have performed against one another over the past three seasons.
Last Three Seasons vs Canadian Teams
|Team||Games Played||Record||Points||Points Percentage|
The Leafs are the best play when you consider goaltending. The Canucks lost their MVP netminder Jacob Markstrom in free agency, while the Oilers are bringing back Mike Smith after a disappointing season. Leafs’ netminder Freddie Andersen is a workhorse and is made for a compressed schedule. He had a down year in 2019-20, but posted a save percentage of at least .917 in the previous four seasons.
Best Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs (+175)
Habs Are Intriguing Value Play
The Montreal Canadiens present the best value in an all-Canadian division. They’ve performed well against Canadian teams in recent years and impressed as underdogs in the Return-to-Play. Powered by goalie Carey Price, the Habs upset a talented Pittsburgh Penguins team in the qualifying round before taking one of the Stanley Cup favorites, the Philadelphia Flyers, to six games in Round 1.
Montreal made some bold moves in free agency, trading away Max Domi for pesky forward Josh Anderson and signing talented sniper Tyler Toffoli. Price would be the best goalie playing in an all-Canadian division and could steal numerous games for his squad in a compressed schedule.
Value Bet: Montreal Canadiens (+750)
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