The NHL North Division appears to be a close race to the finish line as the regular season is about a month away from conclusion, giving way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The seven-team Canada-only division had a good start to the season with a lack of interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Vancouver Canucks are still battling through a significant outbreak throughout the roster as their games continue to be postponed.
The Canucks have not played a game since March 24, and it remains to be seen when they will return to the ice and if the postponed games will ever be made up. According to the team physician Jim Bovard, 25 members of the Canucks organization have tested positive for COVID. Twenty-one of those positive cases are players including three from the taxi squad. Additionally, one player has been considered a close contact, and four staff members tested positive.
As of today, 25 individuals have tested positive and the source infection is confirmed a variant – full genome sequencing by BCCDC will be required to determine which specific type.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) April 7, 2021
The schedule on Vancouver’s team website shows the Canucks’ next game to be on Monday, April 12 on the road against the Edmonton Oilers, but it remains unclear when they will compete again.
As we wind down the final month of the NHL regular season, it’s a good time to reset and check out the futures betting markets to see what the oddsmakers project throughout the rest of the season and into the playoffs.
Updated Team Futures Odds
Below are a list of team futures along with odds for each of the North Division teams. All odds are via a popular United States sportsbook.
North Division Winner
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a heavy favorite to win the division title at -750 odds with two teams tied for second with the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets at +1000. The Montreal Canadiens are at +1200, and the long shots to climb all the way to the top of the standings are the Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks with +25000 odds.
To Make Playoffs
Several Canadian teams are off the board and unable to be wagered on whether or not they will advance to the postseason including Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Ottawa.
However, Calgary and Vancouver are the lone North Division teams to have odds listed on whether they will play beyond the regular season, and they have the exact same odds with “yes” getting +1600 odds and “no” at -4000 as it is highly unlikely they’ll advance according to oddsmakers.
Presidents’ Trophy Winner
Given to the team with the most points in the NHL, the Presidents’ Trophy is up for grabs without a month to go. The Maple Leafs have the best odds among Canadian teams at +350, which are the second best odds in the entire NHL. Edmonton and Winnipeg have an outside shot at +7000 before a drop off for the rest of the league. Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver are among several teams tied for last place in the Presidents’ Cup odds at +18000.
Stanley Cup Winner
The Maple Leafs have the best chance among North Division teams to win the Stanley Cup this season at +800 odds, the fourth highest in the NHL. Three Canadian teams are tied with a group of teams at +2000 including the Oilers, Canadiens and Jets, who are tied for the eighth best chance according to oddsmakers.
The Canucks and Flames are at +15000, tied for the 23rd best odds. The Senators are tied for the worst odds in the NHL at +25000.