Las Vegas released their way too early favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup next season. The odds will undoubtedly change between now and the beginning of the season as free agency has yet to even begin.

The Vegas oddsmakers, however, do not believe that Dallas is capable of building on the success of this last season and taking the Blues to double overtime in the second round does not carry much weight in their eyes. Now, it will be interesting to see if Dallas’s odds do get better once, hopefully, the re-signing of Zuccarello is announced. Even without Zuccarello currently signed, there are a list of reasons to believe the Stars will hoist the cup next season.

Consistent Message

The past 3 seasons have seen the Dallas Stars have to cope with a new coach coming in and preaching a different message with a different system. This season will see a return to consistency with Jim Montgomery entering his second season. The Stars ended the season strong, despite losing in the second round, and will look to build on the success of last season. The players, both young and older, will feel comfortable with a full season under Monty’s system which allows this year’s training camp to be all about improving and tweaking instead of learning new concepts and ideas. This training camp can be a greater focus on developing and executing the plan.

The consistent message from the head coach is an invaluable and often underrated aspect in team building. The feeling of familiarity will be comforting to the players and they will feel more freedom in how to go about their business because of this fact. Monty had many doubters for much of last season, fairly one can say, but his ability to help turn around the season gives Dallas the momentum they needed to carry on into this next season.

Rookie Experiences

Roope Hintz and Miro Heiskanen broke into the league last season and made some noise. Despite neither getting the respect they are due nationwide, especially Miro being snubbed for Rookie of the Year, they both will look to build on a successful rookie campaign. While Miro’s roster spot was secured from the beginning, given he was taken with the overall 3rd pick, Roope was not locked in at the start of the year. His perseverance, consistency in being available, and his speed were instrumental in his success last season and now with the confidence of having his roster spot secured, the skies the limit for him. Roope was almost the difference in the decisive Game 7, despite playing on a broken foot essentially, so with the full offseason of recovery, he will be hungry to take things to the next level.

For Miro, this offseason provides him with something even more important than confidence, rest. Between the timing of the ending of the Finnish league season, national team duty, and the beginning of training camp, Miro was not afforded an offseason of rest and recovery that many other players had at their disposal. Despite this, Miro was a staple on the ice proving to be invaluable in the absence of Klingberg for a month. The soft-spoken Finn received some recognition by the national media last season, except in their snubbing of the rookie in the Calder Trophy voting. An offseason of rest and relaxation though will certainly do the young Finn well as he will be fresh and ready to show the national media why they were wrong to ignore his abilities.

Veterans Hunger

Jamie Benn is one of the pettiest players in the entire league. His enjoyment of getting under the skin of the Blues players is well documented, see Jamie Benn sitting on Alex Pietrangelo. So seeing the team he hates the most, arguably, get the honor of lifting the cup is certain to boil his blood and increase his desire to attain the hardest trophy to win in sports. The Captain certainly did not need any added motivation for the upcoming season, but the bitterness of losing Game 7 combined with watching the Blues celebrate is sure to give him that little something extra that often times is what pushes a team over the top.

For Tyler Seguin, seeing his old team get so close to lifting the cup certainly had to bring back memories of 2011 for him. Certainly, he will want to win the race to win a Cup before his old team. Tyler got his big contract this past offseason locking him into Dallas for the next 6 years. He wants to bring a Cup to Dallas and prove to the world that he is worthy of that contract. Despite world-class talent, Seguin does not get the recognition he is worthy of nationally. He has developed into a world class two way forward worthy of more attention. The comments of That Executive are in the past and that is all that needs to be said on the matter. It does not deserve any attention.

Vegas is full of brilliant individuals who are almost always right when it comes to setting the odds for teams in the world of sports betting. They are humans however and thus are prone to mistakes. The Zuccarello re-signing, which fans are still eagerly awaiting, will most likely adjust these odds, but until then, the Stars can certainly add this latest insult to their bulletin board as added motivation for the upcoming season.

Putting Dallas so low on the list at 28/1 is a mistake they will certainly rue should they not revise their odds soon.

Featured Image: Elliotte Friedman, SportsNet Canada
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