Everything appears to be coming together for the NHL moving into the next phase of its return. Training camps will open on Monday for phase three, according to a release from the NHL and NHL Players’ Association.
Unlike Major League Baseball, the two sides have ratified a collective bargaining agreement extension to avoid any future labor disputes. Teams will train in their home cities before traveling to two hubs for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
The NHL sets return dates, hub cities for Stanley Cup Qualifiers
Per reports, the Western Conference will be in Edmonton and the Eastern Conference will be in Toronto.
The official restart will be on August 1 for phase four of the return. The top four seeds in each conference will play each other one time in a round robin to determine the seeding for the playoffs.
The other eight teams in each conference will play in a series to advance to the playoffs. All the match-ups, which will be in a best-of-five format, are set. The playoffs will re-seed for each round instead of using a set bracket.
While there haven’t been an influx of players announcing they’ll sit out the return, players will reportedly be able to make that decision without an official reasoning. The bubbles in both cities will likely work like Orlando for the NBA.
Players will stay alone in hotels and the league will provide entertainment. Families won’t be allowed until the Conference Finals.
Predators’ odds in Edmonton
The Predators will head to Edmonton for the Western Conference Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Nashville is currently the sixth seed and will play the 11th-seeded Arizona Coyotes. The Predators were 35-26-8 before the break, while Arizona was 33-29-8.
Nashville and the Coyotes split their two games this season played in October and December.
With everything in place for the restart, DraftKings Sportsbook has odds for all aspects of the NHL’s return.
You can already bet on the single-game line for each of the eight games scheduled on Aug. 1. The Predators are -155 for game one against the Coyotes (+127). The biggest favorite for the night is the Penguins (-200) against the Canadiens.
You can also bet on all the series in a variety of ways:
- Series winner
- Total games played
- Series spread
- Exact outcome of series
The Predators are a -139 favorite to beat the Coyotes at +115.
Odds set for first seed, Stanley Cup winner, and more
If the Predators were to beat the Coyotes, they would be set to play the third or fourth seed in the first round of the playoffs. That would typically make for a fairly even match-up, but the round robin format could place Nashville against any of the top four teams.
The Blues are the favorites for the first seed:
- Blues +175
- Avalanche +225
- Golden Knights +300
- Stars +550
Nashville is currently at +1700 to win the Western Conference on DraftKings Sportsbook. They are tied with the Flames for the sixth best odds of the 12 teams remaining. The Golden Knights are the betting favorites at +300, but the Avalanche (+350) and Blues (+400) are close behind.
If the miracle run continues, the Predators are +4000 to win the Stanley Cup on DraftKings. Those are the 15th best odds of the 24 teams remaining. The Coyotes, the Predators’ first-round opponent, are at +4300 to win it all.
One last prop you can bet on is the team to get the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. After the completely wild lottery that occurred this year, any of the teams that get eliminated in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers can get the pick. The Predators are one of those teams and are +1700 on DraftKings to win it.