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Stanley Cup Sleepers? How Oddsmakers View Penguins’ 2025 Title Hopes

Pittsburgh might finally get over the hump and earn a playoff spot

It was a headline offseason for the Metropolitan Division, and the Pittsburgh Penguins could join the wave of a resurgent bounce back.

The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes will be among the favorites again, but the New Jersey Devils vaulted themselves up as among the top contenders in the Eastern Conference with their offseason headlined by the additions of Brett Pesce, Brenden Dillon and Jacob Markstrom.

Pittsburgh primarily added depth pieces and rounded out its defensive corps this offseason. Reilly Smith was traded to the Rangers in exchange for a 2025 conditional fifth-round pick and a second-round pick in 2027. The Penguins traded for Kevin Hayes during the 2024 NHL Draft, and they signed defenseman Sebastian Aho — not to be confused with the Hurricanes forward of the same name.

The moves were intriguing and put Mike Sullivan’s side in the second tier of teams in the Metropolitan Division. Here’s a look at where Pittsburgh stands in the futures market at FanDuel Sportsbook after the first wave of NHL free agency

Stanley Cup: +5000
Eastern Conference: +2400
Division: +1200

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Pittsburgh is a considerable long shot, but there are reasons to be optimistic about the Penguins getting in the dance that is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Sidney Crosby still is playing at a high level entering his age-37 season with 42 goals and 94 points last season. Hayes keeps the Penguins solid in the middle along with Evgeni Malkin, and Lars Eller. Hayes had a down season with the St. Louis Blues, but a change of scenery could bring him back to being a 40-point producer. Michael Bunting, Rickard Rakell, Bryan Rust and Drew O’Connor are solid top-six wingers, and O’Connor delivered consistent production and a lower cost than Smith.

The additions of Aho and former Boston Bruins blueliner Matt Grzelcyk should give Tristan Jarry support up front as Erik Karlsson and Kris Letang lead the blue line.

Hockey is a high-variance game with a bounce of a puck making or breaking your season. The Penguins nearly made the playoff last season, and a healthy season could get them back in the mix, and with their experience, an appearance in the postseason means anything could happen as Crosby and company hope for one last Stanley Cup run.

Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images