COMMENTARY: NHL wants anyone but Ottawa in the Stanley Cup final

Canadians might be glad to see a homegrown team fight for the Cup. but the NHL likely isn’t relishing the idea of the Sens in the final. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

By Rick Zamperin, News Anchor 900CHML

And then there were four.

And who would have guessed that Ottawa and Nashville had a chance to meet in this year’s Stanley Cup final?

The odds, actually, were not in their favour.

Take the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, for example.

When the puck dropped on the NHL playoffs last month, it gave the Ottawa Senators the worst odds to win the Cup at 50–1.

Guess which team had the second-longest odds of winning it all?

If you said the Predators, you’re wrong — it was actually the Edmonton Oilers at 30–1.

But Nashville and the New York Rangers were next at 25–1.

The second-round dust has settled, leaving Ottawa, Nashville, the Anaheim Ducks and defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins still standing.

One look at the latest Stanley Cup odds will likely make fans in Canada’s capital and the Music City see red.

The Sens are still the longshots at 9–2, slightly better than Nashville’s 11–4.

Anaheim is listed at 5–2 and Pittsburgh is the favourites at 7–4 — which means if you bet $4, you’d win $7.

If the NHL is betting on the best matchup in the final, it’s likely hoping for the Penguins and Ducks to meet for all the marbles.

Most American viewers probably don’t even know where Ottawa is, and the Senators vs. Ducks or Predators in the final will mean low TV ratings down south.

That’s not the be-all and end-all and never should be, but you can bet the league certainly cares about that.