World Cup of Hockey Betting: Odds for Each Team to Win the Tournament
Odds for Each Team to Win the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Canada will be as formidable as ever with Sidney Crosby (left) leading the way.JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/Getty Images In less than a month, there will be hockey. Hockey was fiercely played, with the best players in the world competing for their country’s honor.
If you missed the original announcement, here it is again: the World Cup of Hockey will be held in Toronto from September 17 to 29 (if necessary, the third game in the best-of-three final will be played on Oct. 1), with eight teams competing for a trophy that unfortunately looks like a piece of glassware made by an inebriated craftsman.
But, hey, who cares about the trophy’s appearance? These are the rights of a country to proclaim itself the best in hockey.
Yes, there are too many international tournaments now, and the World Cup’s resumption (it hasn’t been played in this format since 2004) risks alienating a larger sporting public that usually doesn’t notice hockey until the first snowfall.
With the NHL’s participation in the next Winter Olympics still uncertain, the World Cup is the preferred mechanism through which commissioner Gary Bettman and the league’s 30 owners, not to mention Donald Fehr and the NHL Players’ Association, get to show off their best players to the world—and collect the gate receipts.
The NHL and its players receive no compensation under the Olympic format. However, this is essentially the same as the Olympics, with the best countries sending their best players.
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The 24-and-under North America team, comprised of the best young players from the United States and Canada, will be one of the tournament’s most entertaining features. Let’s call it the “Kid’s Table” team, and it’s going to give the adults a run for their money when it comes to the crooked vase.
Let’s take a look at the eight teams and their chances of winning this tournament right now. These are my odds, so please express your thoughts if you disagree.
The countdown begins with the squad with the worst chances and progresses to the squad with the best.
25-1 Czech Republic
David Krejci leads the Czech Republic’s underdog forward line. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/Getty Images
To begin with, it doesn’t seem fair that the ageless Jaromir Jagr was left off the Czech team. He’s still productive and a living legend, after all. Allow him to play.
It’s difficult to see how the Czechs can win, especially with a front line comprised mostly of older veterans. Gone are the days when Dominik Hasek could win 1-0 games for his country in international competition.
For the Czechs to have a chance, David Krejci must have an incredible tournament.
Radek Faksa of the Dallas Stars; Michael Frolik of the Calgary Flames; Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes; Ales Hemsky of the Dallas Stars; Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks; Dmitrij Jaskin of the St. Louis Blues; David Krejci of the Boston Bruins; Milan Michalek of the Toronto Maple Leafs; Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning; David Pastrnak
Radko Gudas of the Philadelphia Flyers; Michal Jordan of the Carolina Hurricanes; Michal Kempny of the Chicago Blackhawks; Zbynek Michalek of the Arizona Coyotes; Jakub Nakladal of the Toronto Maple Leafs; and Andrej Sustr of the Tampa Bay Lightning are all unrestricted free agents.
Petr Mrazek of the Detroit Red Wings; Michal Neuvirth of the Philadelphia Flyers; and Ondrej Pavelec of the Winnipeg Jets
Finland wins 15-1.
Pekka Rinne is a member of Finland’s elite goaltending group.Neville E. Sports-USA TODAY Guard
In international competition, the Finns always play with great esprit de corps, so underestimate them at your peril.
Great things are possible with Aleksander Barkov as your No. 1 center and Tuukka Rask and Pekka Rinne in net.
However, the defense is a big question mark.
While it’s a good team, it’s unrealistic to expect it to win the championship in Toronto.
Sebastian Aho of the Karpat (Liiga); Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers; Joonas Donskoi of the San Jose Sharks; Valtteri Filppula of the Tampa Bay Lightning; Mikael Granlund of the Minnesota Wild; Erik Haula of the Minnesota Wild; Jussi Jokinen of the Florida Panthers; Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild; Leo Komarov of the Toronto Maple Leafs; Lauri Korpikoski
Jyrki Jokipakka of the Calgary Flames; Sami Lepisto of the Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL); Esa Lindell of the Dallas Stars; Olli Maatta of the Pittsburgh Penguins; Ville Pokka of the Chicago Blackhawks; Rasmus Ristolainen of the Buffalo Sabres; and Sami Vatanen of the Anaheim Ducks
SKA St. Petersburg (KHLMikko )’s Koskinen; Boston Bruins’ Tuukka Rask; and Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne
14-1 for Sweden
Henrik Lundqvist (right) won Olympic gold in 2006, but that was a long time ago.
There is simply too much youth on this roster to believe it can compete for the championship. There are still plenty of big names, including the Sedin twins, Henrik Zetterberg, and Henrik Lundqvist in goal. They, like everyone else here, are in their 30s.
In recent years, Sweden has not produced the same number of dynamic young stars as other countries. Hockey is still popular in Sweden, and any team that features Erik Karlsson on the back end is bound to be entertaining.
But this isn’t the same team that dominated the world under Peter Forsberg.
Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals; Loui Eriksson of the Vancouver Canucks; Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators; Patric Hornqvist of the Pittsburgh Penguins; Carl Hagelin of the Pittsburgh Penguins; Marcus Kruger of the Chicago Blackhawks; Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche; Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks; Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks; Jakob Silfverberg of the Anaheim
Nashville Predators: Mattias Ekholm; Arizona Coyotes: Oliver Ekman-Larsson; Tampa Bay Lightning: Victor Hedman; Chicago Blackhawks: Niklas Hjalmarsson; Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson; Detroit Red Wings: Niklas Kronwall; Tampa Bay Lightning: Anton Stralman
Buffalo Sabres’ Robin Lehner; New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist; Vancouver Canucks’ Jacob Markstrom
12-1 for Team Europe
Team Europe’s older players are led by Zdeno Chara.Martin Rose/Getty Images
This team is based on the same concept as Team North America: a place for others to find a home they might not have found otherwise. However, unlike Team North America, this team is mostly made up of older veterans.
Anze Kopitar, Zdeno Chara, and Roman Josi are expected to lead the team. There is a lot of talent here, but not nearly as much as in the other top countries.
It will be interesting to see who emerges as the starting goalkeeper. New Maple Leaf Frederik Andersen will be scrutinized as he plays in front of Toronto fans.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Philadelphia Flyers (France); Mikkel Boedker, San Jose Sharks (Denmark); Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (Germany); Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles Kings (Slovakia); Jannik Hansen, Vancouver Canucks (Denmark); Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (Slovakia); Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (Slovenia); Nino Niederreiter, Minnesota (Norway)
Zdeno Chara (Slovakia), Boston Bruins; Christian Ehrhoff (Germany), Nashville Predators (Switzerland); Dennis Seidenberg (Germany), Edmonton Oilers (Slovakia); Luca Sbisa, Vancouver Canucks (Switzerland); Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers (Switzerland)
Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Denmark); Thomas Greiss of the New York Islanders (Germany); and Jaroslav Halak of the New York Islanders (Poland) (Slovakia)
Russia wins 10-1.
Alex Ovechkin watches a figure skating competition in Sochi in 2014John Berry/Getty Images
You have to believe the Russians will enter this tournament looking to make amends for their humiliating home performance in Sochi two years ago.
The Russians have top offensive talent up front, including Alex Ovechkin, Artemi Panarin, Evgeni Malkin, and Vladimir Tarasenko, to name a few. The back end, as well as the goaltending, appear to be more questionable.
The Russians will need to score a lot of goals to win, but it is possible.
Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks; Evgeny Dadonov, SKA Saint Petersburg (KHL); Pavel Datsyuk, SKA Saint Petersburg (KHL); Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning; Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders; Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning; Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capital
Alexei Emelin of the Montreal Canadiens; Dmitry Kulikov of the Buffalo Sabres; Alexey Marchenko of the Detroit Red Wings; Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens; Dmitry Orlov of the Washington Capitals; and Nikita Zaitsev of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche, and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning
8-1 for the United States
Patrick Kane will be hoping to put the United States back in the international winners circle. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/Getty Images
Team USA general manager Dean Lombardi seemed to value size and speed for his team, which could explain why Phil Kessel was a notable omission despite winning the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh this year.
As usual, the Americans are expected to lag behind other top offensive teams. There simply aren’t the dynamic centers seen on Team Canada and Team North America. However, Ben Bishop, Jonathan Quick, and Cory Schneider are all excellent goaltenders.
Nonetheless, the Americans’ lack of high-end talent up front appears to be their undoing, with Patrick Kane standing out as an exception.
Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings; David Backes of the Boston Bruins; Brandon Dubinsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets; Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks; Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks; T.J. Oshie of the Washington Capitals; Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens; Kyle Palmieri of the New Jersey Devils; Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild; Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks; Derek Stepan of
Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets; John Carlson of the Washington Capitals; Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche; Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets; Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers; Matt Niskanen of the Washington Capitals; and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ben Bishop; Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick; and New Jersey Devils’ Cory Schneider
4-1 for Team North America
Team North America will be tested by Connor McDavid. Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images
Everyone is looking forward to seeing what this team looks like on the ice. Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, or Johnny Gaudreau? Yes, this team will have some speed.
Defensively, it appears to be a solid, two-way group led by Aaron Ekblad.
The question mark has been placed in the goal. Is John Gibson, Connor Hellebuyck, or Matt Murray capable of defeating the best in the world in a tournament?
This club may need to score a lot of goals to win, but that may not be a problem with these young speedsters.
Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers; Jonathan Drouin of the Tampa Bay Lightning; Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres; Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames; Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings; Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche; Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs; Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers; J.T. Miller of the New York Rangers; Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames; Ryan Nu
Florida Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad; Philadelphia Flyers’ Shayne Gostisbehere; Columbus Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones; Columbus Blue Jackets’ Ryan Murray; St. Louis Blues’ Colton Parayko; Toronto Maple Leafs’ Morgan Rielly; Winnipeg Jets’ Jacob Trouba
Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson; Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck; and Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Murray
Canada wins 2-1.
After winning gold with Canada in Sochi, Carey PriceMark Humphrey/Associated Press
Canada has to be the favorite to win as long as goalie Carey Price is healthy—which, according to Team Canada GM Doug Armstrong (via Mark Spector of Sportnet.ca), he is.
Would it be better to have a guy like P.K. Subban rather than Jake Muzzin? Yes, on a normal team. However, Canada already has a plethora of offensive D-men in the form of Drew Doughty, Brent Burns, Alex Pietrangelo, and Duncan Keith.
Canadian teams have never lacked star power up front, but defense and goaltending propelled them to gold medals in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014. This team is once again overburdened there and everywhere.
Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins; Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings; Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins; Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche; Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks; Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers; Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins; Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars; Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning; John Tavares of the New York Islanders; Jonathan Toews of the
Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks; Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings; Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks; Jake Muzzin of the Los Angeles Kings; Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues; Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks; and Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens.
Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks; Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals; and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens