The first big domino fell in NHL free agency with left winger Taylor Hall signing a one-year, $8 million dollar contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
A former first overall draft pick, Hall racked up 52 points in 65 games as he split time with the New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes. Naturally, the move quickly affected the future markets over at PointsBet Sportsbook.
“I think it’s a great signing for both parties,” PointsBet senior sports analyst Andrew Mannino told NBC Sports. “They get some extra firepower and if they make a run, it’ll be due to him. If they don’t, they’ll be able to trade him at the deadline and pick up some extra assets.”
The Sabres weren't exactly a Cup contender heading into the weekend, but it definitely moved the meter in the PointsBet trading room. Buffalo will certainly attract money from people that are trying to pinpoint a sleeper for their next future bet.
“Buffalo wasn’t knocking on the door before the signing," Mannino said. "We went ahead and moved the Sabres from +6600 to +5500 to win the Stanley Cup. For the Eastern Conference, we moved them in from +3300 to +2500.”
PointsBet actually has Colorado (+700) as the odds-on favorite to hoist Lord Stanley in 2021. Then it's Vegas (+750), Tampa Bay (+800), Boston (+1100) and Toronto (+1400) rounding out the top five teams with the best odds. Other notables are Dallas (+1600), Pittsburgh (+1600), Washington (+1600), Edmonton (+2000), the New York Rangers (+2000) and Vancouver (+2000).
Detroit and Ottawa are the biggest long shots at 125-to-1.
“There are still some unanswered questions out there with some potential signings that could shake things up," Mannino explained when asked about the heaviest hitters in hockey. "Boston and Vegas are bringing back very good hockey teams. Tampa Bay just won the Cup. But if Colorado can build off what they did last season, they’re very legit. They have such good all-around play from every position. They’re in great shape.”
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