After their sensational Stanley Cup exploits this season, the Chicago Blackhawks will already be looking to defend their title next season.
Their second Stanley Cup victory in four years, Chicago are now in a great position to create a legacy with this team.
After their Stanley Cup in 2010, the Blackhawks were forced to shed some of their key players due to salary cap changes, but this should not be the next season, and the franchise will be able to hang onto the bulk of the squad that brought them such success this season.
The Blackhawks most likely can and will keep most of the team intact—even with a new lower salary cap of $64.3 million. Conversely, in 2010, players like Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd were forced to leave at a time when the team were hoping to build on a remarkable season and keep their stars.
It certainly appears the Blackhawks have a great chance of defending their title next season, but their recently vanquished foes, the Boston Bruins, will be top of that list of teams looking to knock Chicago off their perch.
Now that the season is finished, Bruins general manager, Peter Chiarelli's top priority will be to sign goaltender, Tuukka Rask, to a long-term contract.
According to the latest sports betting, keeping the Finnish stopper in Boston will be critical to the Bruins hopes next season but, if Rask does remain with the franchise, Boston will feel they have everything they need to go one better than this season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, who were expected to win last season’s Stanley Cup by fans of online betting, will be another franchise looking to come back from this year’s disappointment when the new season gets underway.