Friday, December 15, 2023

In 2018, I ranked every team’s chances of a Cup in the next five years. How’d I do?

Which NHL team has the best odds of winning a Stanley Cup in the next five years?

It’s a question I asked at Grantland in 2015, and again after joining The Athletic in 2018. That second column came exactly five years ago this month, meaning it’s a good time to look back and see just how wrong I was.

I know I’ll be wrong, because one of the things you learn when you do an exercise like this is that predicting the future in today’s NHL is difficult, bordering on the impossible. There’s so much more randomness than we realize, and maybe even more than our fan brains wants to really process.

You also learn that when you’re trying to squeeze 32 teams into a five-year window, the odds for everyone get way smaller than you’d imagine, and that the margins get even smaller than that. You’ll see that in the rankings below.

Is it time for a brand new five-year window ranking? I’d say it is… soon. First, let’s look back at that 2018 list and see which teams I called reasonably well, and how many I whiffed on completely.

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