This has been one of the more interesting NHL seasons to watch in recent memory, especially if you’re a Canadian fan with an eye on Ontario sports betting. All the buzz coming into this season was about the Toronto Maple Leafs and their core four — Auston Matthews, who was coming off a 60-goal season and a Hart Trophy, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares.
BetMGM opened them at +850 as Stanley Cup favorites, behind the Colorado Avalanche. Times have changed, and the oddsmakers have been shifting things around. The Leafs are no longer the automatic when people talk about the best team in Canada. The Edmonton Oilers (41-23-8 for 90 points) are right there now.
Today’s BetMGM Ontario Sportsbook Stanley Cup futures have the Leafs at +900, behind the Boston Bruins (+375) and the Avalanche (+650) and the Oilers at +1300. The Oilers opened at +1600.
The Oilers are fifth in the Western Conference, but are just two points out of the second.
A big reason for all this of course has been the emergence of Connor McDavid into the pantheon of NHL greats, right up there with names like Gretzky, Howe, Orr, and Lemieux. There’s no debating that. McDavid is doing things on most nights that have hockey fans shaking their heads.
The other night he matched Matthews’ achievement last season with his 60th goal on the year. In fact, McDavid is the fastest player to ever hit 60 — in 72 games, one game faster than Matthews last year. He has 10 games left — and getting to 70 isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.
With McDavid almost a foregone conclusion as the Hart Memorial Trophy (NHL MVP) winner for the 2022-23 season, OntarioBets.com wanted to look at the times historically a Hart Trophy-winner also led their team to the Stanley Cup title.
OntarioBets.com utilized HockeyReference.com for its research and cut down the amount of seasons to represent statistics since the first six-team expansion in the 1967-68 season.
Remember, this site is also your home to the best Ontario sportsbooks apps ahead of the NHL playoffs.
Hart Trophy Winner / Stanley Cup Winner In Same Year*
*Since expansion during the 1967-68 season
What The Numbers Say
According to the statistics, only 11 players in the NHL have won the Hart Trophy and Stanley Cup in the same season out of the 55 seasons, or 20%. And, out of the 18 Hart Trophy winners on a Canadian-based team, only six of them have also won the Stanley Cup the same year, or 33%.
NorthStar Bets Ontario Sportsbook has the Leafs at +1000 to win the Cup, the Oilers at +1400. PointsBet Canada has the Leafs at +1000, and the Oilers at +1200 (they also have the Vegas Golden Knights at +800, a bit of a surprise).
Of course McDavid can’t win the Cup on this own. The big question is whether the Oilers have the support guns to get it done.
Can Oilers Truly Make A Run?
In Edmonton, goaltending is the big issue.
Free agent signee Jack Campbell — his .882 save percentage is tied for 49th among goalies — has been a border-line disaster for the $5 million per season they are paying him, which means a lot of the Oilers’ hopes will likely rest on the shoulders of rookie Stuart Skinner. Skinner’s .910 save percentage ranks 16th in the NHL, and his 2.90 GAA is 23rd among goalies.
The Oilers are loaded up front — led by another former Hart Trophy winner, Leon Draisaitl, second to McDavid’s 138 points, with 110 of his own — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, having a career season, with 88 points, and Zach Hyman, who has 30 goals so far. Darnell Nurse on defence has been rock solid, and management made a great trade-deadline move bringing in defenseman Mattias Ekholm in a trade with Nashville.
Time will tell if McDavid can join that historical list of players to win the Hart Trophy and the Stanley Cup. As he continues his quest to do so, keep it here at OntarioBets, also home to the best Ontario casino apps.