Patrick Kane and the New York Rangers Stanley Cup Aspirations
NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers
Mar 18, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Three weeks ago, Patrick Kane was traded to New York as the Rangers agreed to a deal that included a conditional 2023 second-round draft pick, a 2025 fourth-rounder, and AHL defenseman Andy Welinski to the Blackhawks, the team announced that Tuesday night. The three-team deal, which included the Phoenix Coyotes, also netted AHL defenseman Cooper Zech for the Rangers, signaling how serious the Rangers were about making a run at the Stanley Cup this season.

Now equipped with one of the most formidable top-sixes in the NHL, consisting of Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Vincent Trocheck, the Rangers looked like a club that could make some serious noise in the playoffs.

The trade would not have been possible if Kane had not been adamant about coming to Manhattan, and only Manhattan. It always seemed to be New York or nowhere for Kane. That drove the price down and gave the Rangers the edge in negotiations with Chicago, a club sitting in the basement of the Central Division gunning for the right to select Connor Bedard with the first-overall pick in the 2023 draft.

Winning the Metropolitan Division

As the NHL season heats up, the New York Rangers find themselves in a tight race for the Metropolitan Division title. With the acquisition of star forward Patrick Kane, the Rangers hope to gain the edge they need to come out on top.

Currently, in third place out of eight teams in the Metropolitan Divisions, the Rangers are sitting 5 points behind the New Jersey Devils and 6 points behind the Carolina Hurricanes, who also have two games in hand. According to the latest odds from online sports betting sites like Unibet, the Rangers are the third favorite team to win the division outright at +1800. If you place a $100 NHL bet on the Rangers today, you will be paid $1800 if they win the division. The Devils are priced at +260, while the favored Hurricanes are at -250.

Stanley Cup Odds

After a lackluster start, New York Rangers seemingly turned their season around in December. Since their loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on December 3rd, the Rangers have earned points in 35 of their last 44 games, including 6 out of the last 7, with only the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, and Tampa Bay Lightning scoring more goals (159) during that stretch. The Rangers are now 41-19-10 for the season.

This impressive run has made many fans and gamblers bullish on the Rangers’ chances in the playoffs. Despite their talent, the Rangers are still available at +750 to win the Eastern Conference and +1200 to win the Stanley Cup. These odds could be attractive for those looking to make a wager.

Looking ahead to the playoffs, barring a complete collapse, the Rangers’ most likely first-round opponent will be the Devils or the Hurricanes. While the Devils are a young team with potential, they may not have the experience to compete with the Rangers, but the Hurricanes are a veteran bunch and could pose a severe hurdle in the first round. However, New York is 2-0-0 vs. Carolina this season, their last win a 6-2 thrashing of the Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Raleigh, and 1-1-1 against New Jersey, with that win coming back in December.

The Rangers did come close to knocking off the defending back-to-back champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in last year’s Eastern Conference Final. With the experience and heartbreak from that loss, the Rangers are poised to go even further this season. While their odds may not reflect their potential, the Rangers’ recent success and talented roster make them an attractive option for those looking to make a bet.