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Hawks Favored For 2015 Stanley Cup; Kings No. 4

Despite winning the cup this year, the Los Angeles Kings are not favorites to take home the 2015 championship.

Despite winning the cup this year, the Kings are not favorites to take home the 2015 championship.

With the dust barely settled on the Los Angeles Kings’ triumphant run to the Stanley Cup, online bookmakers are already gearing up for the 2015 championship gauntlet.

Less than 24 hours after the Kings lifted their second cup in three years, leading sportsbook Bovada posted its hockey futures for the upcoming season – still some four months away – and they make for some interesting reading.

Despite their success this season, the Kings failed to top the list for next year. Instead, the Chicago Blackhawks – a Stanley Cup favorite for so much of this season past – once again sit in first place with the bookmakers.

Chicago currently sits at 15/2 to lift the Stanley Cup this time next year, ahead of the Boston Bruins (8/1) and Pittsburgh Penguins (9/1).

Los Angeles follows up this trio of heavyweights, having been assigned 10/1 odds of winning the championship. No team has successfully defended the Stanley Cup since the Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998, so maybe the oddsmakers are onto something.

The St. Louis Blues sit level with the Kings at 10/1, meaning the top five on Bovada’s list reads the same as when the season opened back in October.

The New York Rangers, beaten finalists this season, have been assigned 18/1 odds of winning the 2015 Stanley Cup, ranking the side joint-eighth. After suffering the heartbreak of coming so close this season, Alain Vigneault’s side will look to pose a challenge again next season.

The Rangers were actually the cup favorites heading into the 2012-13 campaign, but a subpar year wiped away most of the expectation for this past season. Can the team rediscover its glory next year?

At the other end of the spectrum, the Buffalo Sabres sit in 30th place, having been assigned odds of 75/1. The Sabres had a miserable season this year, finishing with a league-worst 51 losses and just 52 points. Can the team turn things around?

All future odds are listed below.

The 2014-15 NHL season will commence in October.

The 2014 NHL Draft is scheduled to take place at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27-28.

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