May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) skates during the warmup period against the Edmonton Oilers in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
- The Columbus Blue Jackets signed superstar Johnny Gaudreau in NHL Free Agency
- The Jackets’ 2023 Stanley Cup odds immediately improved following the signing
- Read below to see how signing Gaudreau impacts Columbus’ Stanley Cup odds
The Columbus Blue Jackets have won the Johnny Gaudreau free agency sweepstakes. Columbus shocked the hockey world when they announced the signing on the opening day of NHL Free Agency (July 13).
Oddsmakers were quick to adjust Columbus’ betting odds following the transaction. The Blue Jackets saw drastic improvement in their 2023 Stanley Cup odds, although they still remain longshots.
Let’s analyze how the Gaudreau signing impacts the Blue Jackets’ Stanley Cup odds and the Eastern Conference NHL futures.
2023 Stanley Cup Odds
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1000|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1000|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1400|
|New York Rangers||+1600|
|St. Louis Blues||+2500|
|New York Islanders||+3000|
|Los Angeles Kings||+3500|
|Detroit Red Wings||+5500|
|New Jersey Devils||+6500|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+7500|
|San Jose Sharks||+10000|
Odds as of July 13, 2022, at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Gaudreau Choses Columbus in Free Agency
Gaudreau has signed a seven-year with the Blue Jackets worth $68.2 million. The 28-year-old announced Tuesday he would not be returning to Calgary after nine seasons spent with the Flames. “Johnny Hockey” reportedly turned down a very lucrative offer from Calgary management.
Gaudreau is from the state of New Jersey, so many speculated he wanted to play somewhere closer to home. The New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers became frontrunners to land Gaudreau in the NHL Free Agency odds.
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) July 13, 2022
Gaudreau choosing Columbus is a bit puzzling considering the Blue Jackets have really struggled the last few seasons. If Columbus is going to turn it around, however, signing a superstar like Gaudreau is a great place to start.
Gaudreau is coming off a career-best 115-point season that made him a contender in the Hart Trophy odds. Oddsmakers know Gaudreau’s impact, as they immediately updated the Blue Jackets Stanley Cup odds after the signing went through.
Blue Jackets’ Stanley Cup odds After Signing Gaudreau
Columbus entered 2022 NHL Free Agency with +1000 odds to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel Sportsbook. The Blue Jackets Stanley Cup odds improved to +7500 after signing Gaudreau. While that’s a notable shift, Columbus is still bottom-10 in the Stanley Cup odds.
Columbus finished sixth in the NHL East Division last season with 81 points in 82 games. They were 20 points out of a playoff spot. Even after signing Gaudreau, the Blue Jackets have the worst odds (three-way tie) to win the East Division (2023) in the NHL Divisional odds.
The Blue Jackets remain longshots in the Stanley Cup odds because they haven’t won a playoff series since 2019. They also have to re-sign RFA Patrik Laine, which is another reason oddsmakers are hesitant to bolster their betting odds.
Re-signing Laine would give Columbus two elite offensive stars, but they still need to get much better to be considered an NHL contender. The Blue Jackets allowed the fifth-highest number of goals against in 2021-22, which is an area they have yet to improve this offseason.
Verdict on Blue Jackets’ Stanley Cup Odds
The Gaudreau signing is huge for Columbus, but it doesn’t mean you should immediately bet the Blue Jackets in the 2023 Stanley Cup odds. CBJ is still lacking elite defense and goaltending, which is something most of the best NHL teams possess.
Johnny Gaudreau is headed to Columbus, just as we all drew it up.
The Blue Jackets add an elite winger and one of the best passers + forwards at generating offense in transition. He’s worth a lot more than that $9.8M cap hit. pic.twitter.com/Lpi2iWaphl
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) July 13, 2022
Columbus is worth monitoring in the odds to make the NHL Playoffs, but it’s best to pump the brakes on anything more. Since CBJ entered the NHL in 2000, they’ve only won a single playoff series. It will take a lot more than Gaudreau to change those fortunes in Ohio.
Columbus’ division foe, the Carolina Hurricanes, acquired premier d-man Brent Burns in NHL Free Agency. The Canes are the favorite to win the NHL East Division and are just one of many teams standing in Columbus’ way in 2023.
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years of experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.