by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Florida Panthers have failed to make the playoffs each of the past three seasons, so they decided to hire a Stanley Cup-winning head coach in Joel Quenneville and plan to be very active in free agency in order to become a lot more competitive during the 2019/20 campaign.
Quenneville won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks before being fired last season, and he now hopes to continue his winning ways in Florida, which is the EVEN money betting favorite to spend the most on free agents this summer at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Panthers saw goaltender Roberto Luongo retire on Wednesday after 19 years in the NHL, and they would like to replace him with free agent Sergei Bobrovsky. They have nearly $24 million in cap space to sign at least a couple big-name players, potentially including one of Bobrovsky’s former teammates with the Columbus Blue Jackets, high-scoring winger Artemi Panarin (career-high 87 points last season).
Florida is listed as a heavy -280 favorite (bet $280 to win $100) on the NHL odds to land Bobrovsky, and the team also has a slight edge to sign Panarin according to oddsmakers at -115. Panarin played for Quenneville in Chicago the first two years of his career before being traded to Columbus.
Another team that is expected to be fairly active in free agency is the Nashville Predators, who are trying to avoid seeing their window close without playing for a Cup again. The Predators made it to the Stanley Cup Final three seasons ago but lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. Nashville is the +190 second choice to spend the most money this summer, with eyes on center Matt Duchene to help boost the squad’s scoring.
The Predators are -325 favorites on the NHL free agency odds to add Duchene after they cleared some room last weekend by trading All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban to the New Jersey Devils. Nashville has a little more than $13 million in cap space right now, and Duchene could command around $10 million per year. He was dealt to the Blue Jackets from the Ottawa Senators during the season and previously played for the Colorado Avalanche.
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