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Golden Knights still Stanley Cup favorites after Fleury trade

Marc-Andre Fleury made a major impact on the Golden Knights in his four seasons as the face of the franchise.

But the trade that sent the goaltender to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday didn’t impact the Knights’ odds at Las Vegas sportsbooks.

The Knights remain the consensus favorites to win the 2022 Stanley Cup.

They’re the outright favorites at Circa Sports (+590) and William Hill (+550) to win the title next season, and they’re the co-favorites with the Colorado Avalanche (5-1) at the Westgate and with the Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning at Station Casinos (5-1).

“We didn’t change anything,” Westgate vice president of risk Jeff Sherman said. “It didn’t come as a big surprise. You kind of figured they had to move somebody, especially with re-signing (defenseman Alec) Martinez (Monday). That put them over the cap.”

Three-time Stanley Cup champion Fleury, 36, won the 2021 Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie. He also teamed with Robin Lehner to win the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the NHL.

“He’s still got some life in him. But at this stage of his career, it’s not enough to influence a futures price,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said of Fleury. “It didn’t change anything. Lehner’s pretty good, and they’ll find a backup.”

Lehner, 30, has four years left on his $25 million, five-year contract with the Knights.

“This becomes Lehner’s team,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Not having arguably the best tandem of goalies in the league does hurt. But they still have a guy who’s extremely talented.

“Most teams have one goalie play the majority of games, and that’s the case now with Vegas.”

The Knights are the 9-1 third choice at Boyd Gaming behind Colorado and Tampa Bay, and they’re still the +650 second pick at BetMGM behind the Avalanche.

“We haven’t changed them. It’s sad that he’s going, though,” MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback said. “It’s not like they’re losing their top goalie and then have to search for somebody off the top of the scrap heap.

“The Knights should still be dominant in their weak (Pacific) Division. Even if you or I were playing goalie, they’d probably be dominant.”

The Westgate didn’t move Chicago’s odds after the trade, either, amid reports that Fleury might retire. The Blackhawks still reside near the bottom of the board there at 100-1.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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Las Vegas handicapper Bruce Marshall is editor of The Gold Sheet (Goldsheet.com). He provides the Review-Journal with college football tech notes and trends.