Change was inevitable for the Predators heading into the 2019-20 NHL Season, as their 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last April left longtime GM David Poile searching for answers. Nashville’s early exit certainly was a surprising turn of events after they went 47-29-6 during the regular season to finish first overall in the Central Division. The biggest move Poile pulled off this summer involved the departure of P.K. Subban, who was dealt to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Steven Santini, Jeremy Davies, and a couple of draft picks. With Subban’s nine-million dollar salary cap hit off the books, the Preds signed Matt Duchene to a seven year, 56 million dollar contract to dramatically improve their already impressive depth at center ice.
With an impressive forward group consisting of star playmakers such as Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Kyle Turris, and the aforementioned Duchene, Nashville appears to have an embarrassment of riches up front. Even with Subban no longer playing top-minutes on the back end, the Predators should still be above average in terms of goals against per game due to the presence of Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm on the blueline.
Of course, having perennial all-star Pekka Rinne back in goal is a major factor as well. Backup goaltender Juuse Saros is also an integral part of the team, as he has really performed well and could begin to gradually cut into Rinne’s workload due to the veteran’s age. As a whole, Nashville appears to have a very well-constructed roster that is more than capable of another fantastic regular season showing in the highly-competitive Western Conference. The sky appears to be the limit in the postseason as well, especially if some of the younger players continue to progress as the year goes on.
Predators Odds to Win the Central Division, Western Conference and Stanley Cup Odds
Betting markets are suggesting that Nashville is the clear frontrunner to take down the Central Division yet again in 2019-20, as the Preds are currently listed at +300 to come out on top. That makes them a slight favorite over both the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues, as they are both currently available at +340. With a long history of recent success in the regular season, the Predators are also getting a lot of love in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy and currently sit at +1200 to take down the award – leaving them behind only Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas, and Boston.
Sportsbooks also appear to have a lot of faith in Nashville’s ability to come out of the Western Conference, since their current price of +850 leaves them behind only Vegas, Colorado, St. Louis, and Dallas. In terms of the biggest prize, the Predators Cup Run odds are hovering around the +1600 mark. That leaves them barely out of the top five, as Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas, Boston, and St. Louis are all available between the +700 and +1500 range.