In this image provided by Jeremy Malone, Jeremy Malone, left,...

In this image provided by Jeremy Malone, Jeremy Malone, left, and Judson Dymond, the co-owners of The Sportsbook Bar & Grill in Greenwood, Colo., pose for a photot. An arsonist burned down the bar in January. Both co-owners have a parlay they created before the fire that will pay off nearly $600,000 if the Edmonton Oilers win the Stanley Cup Final and help pay for improvements. Credit: AP

LAS VEGAS — The Oilers not only have the opportunity to bring the long-awaited Stanley Cup back to Canada, they also could bring a major financial windfall to two Colorado sports bar owners.

An Edmonton championship couldn't come at a better time for Jeremy Malone and Judson Dymond, whose establishment was forced to close after an arsonist burned it Jan. 26.

Two weeks earlier, they placed a three-team parlay with BetMGM Sportsbook that would pay $584,000 if the Oilers beat the Florida Panthers in the final, which begins Saturday. Their $1,000 wager hit on the first two legs when the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl and European soccer power Real Madrid claimed the Champions League title.

Malone was in Arizona with a friend over the weekend when Real Madrid won and the Oilers closed out the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final.

“It was a very good weekend,” Malone said.

Malone said he and Dymond have taken out a partial hedge bet on the Panthers in case the Oilers don't come through, guaranteeing them a profit either way.

“We made the (larger) bet in the beginning,” Malone said. “We're gamblers when it comes down to it. We still want the Oilers.”

Florida Panthers right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (10) celebrates after scoring...

Florida Panthers right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (10) celebrates after scoring during the third period of Game 6 against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. Credit: AP/Lynne Sladky

The timing is especially good after an arsonist broke into and burned down The Sportsbook Bar & Grill in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Insurance is taking care of the rebuild and revenue losses that includes paying employees, so the extra money will assist in making improvements to the sports bar.

“It was a very surreal phone call,” Malone said. “You get there and you see water pouring out of the front of your building because of all the sprinklers. It'll be built back better. It keeps getting pushed back because of city stuff, permit stuff. I feel bad for our employees. A lot of these people are with us five, six, seven years.”

A person was arrested and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

A CLOSE SERIES?

Edmonton Oilers players wave to fans after defeating the Dallas...

Edmonton Oilers players wave to fans after defeating the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs in Edmonton, Alberta, Sunday, June 2, 2024. Credit: AP/Jeff McIntosh

The Panthers are -130 favorites at BetMGM to win the Cup, meaning a $130 wager pays $100. Edmonton is nearly even money at +110.

BetMGM favors the series going six or seven games at +200 each.

“Florida is the team that I'm leaning on,” said Alex B. Smith, who co-hosts “The Ice Guys” podcast. “I have a future on them at 9-1 going back before the season. I like them to win it in five or six games.”

The key matchup could be the Oilers' offense led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl against the Panthers' shut-down defense and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

“Florida's defense is rock solid right now,” Smith said. “When you combine how well the blue liners are playing and then how well Bobrovsky is and how in tune he is as well, it's a tough task for any offense. But Edmonton certainly has the horses. If any team is going to beat Florida, Edmonton should give them that push-back based on their offensive talent.”

BACKING THE PANTHERS

Smith isn't the only one hoping Florida players are skating with the Cup when the series ends. BetMGM oddsmakers would love to see it, too.

The Oilers were as high as 25-1 to win the championship when they got off to a slow start, resulting in coach Jay Woodcroft getting fired Nov. 12 and replaced by Kris Knoblauch.

“So we have way more liability when it comes to Edmonton, whereas Florida has been pretty close to the top favorite throughout the season,” BetMGM trading manager Christian Cipollini said. “The fact we're not in the state of Florida means we don't get a lot of hometown bets in general, so most of the people that have bet them have bet them at a much lower price point.”

BetMGM's presence north of the border is only in Ontario, but there is a little bit of the rallying around the Canadian flag. In Ontario, 76% of the money-line wagers for Game 1 are on the Oilers compared to 52% throughout North America.

A Canadian team has not won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens in 1993.

McDAVID FAVORED TO WIN CONN SMYTHE

It's unusual for the favorite of the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to the playoffs MVP, to be on the underdog team, but McDavid is tops at +200.

“But McDavid is pretty much on another level when it comes to this,” Cipollini said. “He is the face of the league. We really can't see many scenarios where the Oilers win and it doesn't go to McDavid just off the basis you know the NHL is going to want to give him the award.”

Bobrovsky and Panthers teammate Aleksander Barkov are next at +400 each.

IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIENCE

The Panthers also were in the final last season, losing in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights.

“I think last year with Florida, they simply ran out of steam,” Smith said. “It was a team that needed to play like hell the last two weeks of the regular season using their third-string goaltender just to even get into the playoffs. ... I think now they know how to manage themselves.”

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