Best value bets for the 2018 Stanley Cup

We know the Penguins are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup next spring. But which teams offer the best value for those looking to place a long-range futures bet? We identify five high-value picks, including one long shot. Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the excitement of Patric Hornqvist's third-period Stanley Cup clincher in Game 6, lifting the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Nashville Predators for their second straight title, hockey fans are now faced with the reality that a long, hockey-less summer awaits them.

However, it's never too early to look ahead to next season, especially if you want to seize value on future Stanley Cup bets.

We are nearly a full year in advance of another team hoisting the Stanley Cup, so today is no time for betting the favorites. Wait on those for a later time, when the playoff picture is much clearer. You won't lose much on value.

On the other hand, now is a terrific time to place early value bets. Here's a look at five teams to consider during these summer months: