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Pittsburgh Penguins are the favorites to win the 2017 Stanley Cup

Well, them and the Blackhawks, but there’s more recent evidence for the Pens.

2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There hasn’t been a repeat Stanley Cup Champion since the 1997-98 and 1998-99 Red Wings. They were the last team to win Cups in back-to-back seasons - something that does not bode well for the Pittsburgh Penguins when we’re considering the upcoming 2016-17 season.

Don’t tell that to Bovada, though, because they don’t care. They’ve given the Penguins 9/1 odds of winning the Cup this season: the highest amongst the entire NHL, albeit tied with the Chicago Blackhawks.

And if any team can be back-to-back champions again, you’d have to think it’s these Penguins. Not only have they been able to keep basically their entire championship-caliber roster intact, but said roster includes a number of some of the best players in the world, many still playing some of the best hockey of their careers.

The Penguins are also favored to win the Eastern Conference, with 4/1 odds, and the Metropolitan Division, at 9/5. Considering how they’re going to have a full year of Mike Sullivan, all of these high expectations certainly seem reachable, don’t they?