The Vegas Golden Knights may very well be the greatest expansion team ever put together, but as far as NHL betting goes that’s like calling your only friend your best friend. The Exodus is a walk in the park compared to the journey from expansion team to Stanley Cup champions, but the Promised Land flowing milk and honey is an attainable, albeit time-consuming goal.The ’67 Big BangThe 1967 NHL expansion added six teams to the league; the largest expansion in professional sports history. Two of those teams – the California Seals (aka the Oakland Seals, aka the California Golden Seals) and the Minnesota North Stars went the way of Johnny Depp’s money; the former lasted less than 10 years in their original configuration and the latter spent 26 seasons in the NHL without winning the SC before moving to Dallas. Of the remaining four, the Pens have been by far the most successful with five Stanley Cup wins – including the last two straight –, the first of which came 24 years after their inception. Conversely, the Blues have yet to win the Big One in their 50-year history.
New York, New York
The Big Apple got a second NHL team in the form of the Islanders, who have hoisted Lord Stanley’s trophy on four occasions – all within the 80s decade. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Flames plied their trade at the Omni Coliseum from 1972 until 1980 until they relocated to Calgary. And it was just as well; considering what transpired during Sherman’s March to the Sea – and again in 1917 – fans who bet on hockey will agree that naming an Atlanta team the ‘Flames’ is just bad taste.
Washington is next
If the league’s top accolade were the Presidents’ Trophy instead of the Stanley Cup, then the Capitals – who joined the fray in 1974 – would be NHL betting powerhouses. That’s not the case, though, and the Caps have failed to bring DC the coveted Cup. That year also saw the birth of the Kansas City Scouts, who became the Colorado Rockies in 1982, before finally settling for the New Jersey Devils.
The Ottawa Senators rejoined the NHL in 1992 but have been nowhere near the level of success of the original Senators – who won 11 Stanley Cups between 197 and 1934. That it, 11 more than the current Sens. On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Lightning – also founded in ’92 – were a success story, winning their first (and so far only) SC in 2004, only 12 years after coming into being.
The Lost City of Atlanta gave it another go in 1999 with the Thrashers. Unfortunately, they became the second Winnipeg Jets in 2011.
As fans who bet on hockey know, there has been much renaming and relocating throughout the history of the NHL expansion. That is to say, for all we know the Vegas Golden Knights could soon become the Saskatoon Berries or the Springfield Ice-O-Topes. Huh. Wonder what the NHL betting odds of that are.