NHL Western Conference Preview & Betting Guide

Updated: 739 Ice Hockey

A look at the NHL Western Conference for the 2023-24 season, who will win the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl in 2024? We also look in more detail at the Pacific & Central division titles.

NHL Western Conference Preview & Betting Guide
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

2024 NHL Western Conference Betting Guide

This blog will are focusing on the Western Conference in the NHL, we will be looking at how last season panned out, which team won the western conference title and lifted the Campbell Bowl. Also, we will be looking ahead to the new season, which team will be successful in the upcoming season? We will also be looking at the history of the western conference, which franchises have excelled and which have not!

In this blog you will find:

Who Won The 2023 Western Conference

In the Western Conference, it is the top three from both the Central and Pacific divisions along with two wildcards who made up the eight teams who advanced into the playoffs.

The Avs who were looking to defend their Stanley Cup once again topped the central division with one hundred and nineteen points finishing six points ahead of the Stars with the Wild making up the top three.

In the Pacific division, it was the Golden Knights who clinched the top spot with a total of one hundred and eleven points, the Oilers finished just three points behind them with the Kings grabbing the third playoff spot, it was VGK & the Oilers who finished 1-2 in the conference.

It was a wildcard berth for each division, the Seattle Kracken (Pacific) clinching the first spot with one hundred points and then the Jets (Central) clinched the final wildcard spot with ninety-five points.

The two newest franchises both made the playoffs and the Seattle Kraken made a statement in the first round when knocking out the reigning champions, the Avs with a 4-3 series win but they were defeated 4-3 by the Stars in the next round, still encouraging signs for the newest additions.

The Vegas Golden Knights failed to make the playoffs last season and were looking to put that right and they did in style, they dispatched the Jets 4-1, then the Oilers 4-2 and then the Stars 4-2 to make it to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final where they defeated the Panthers 4-1 and claimed their first Stanley Cup championship.

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NHL Eastern Conference Preview & Betting Guide

2024 NHL Western Conference Preview

The bookies are like the past few seasons putting the Colorado Avalanche as favourites to land the Western Conference, despite only managing third in 2023, they were only two points behind the winners VGK and with a lack of back-to-back winners of this conference many will be opposing the Vegas Golden Knights for 2024 after their success in 2023, the bookies have them third favourites preseason. The Oilers are the team the bookies have as the main danger to the Avs, they finished second last season on the same number of points as the Avs.

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NHL Stanley Cup Preview & Betting Guide

There will be plenty of interest in the Winter Classic from the Western Conference this season, after an all-Eastern matchup last season, it's the Westerns turn this season with the two newest franchises matching up at T-Mobile Park with the Seattle Kraken hosting the Vegas Golden Knights.

Remember to bookmark the best NHL tipsters page for picks throughout the season, this page only shows the tipsters who have shown a profit over the past twelve months for their ice hockey predictions meaning you get are getting NHL predictions from only the profitable handicappers!

Which NHL Teams Are In the Western Conference

The Western Conference, previously known as the Clarence Campbell Conference it was created in 1974 and changed to the now-known Western Conference in 1981 after a shakeup and put the teams in the Eastern / Western Conference based on geological locations! Since 1993, the two divisions within the western conference have been known as the Central and Pacific, there was a third added in 1998, the Northwest but in 2013 that league was dissolved. With the introduction of the new franchise in Vegas, this conference was expanded to fifteen teams and now with the new franchise in Seattle, the conference was expanded to sixteen teams in 2021.

Pacific Division

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Calgary Flames
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • San Jose Sharks
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Vegas Golden Knights

Central Division

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Winnipeg Jets

An Introduction To The Pacific Franchises

Who has won the most Pacific Division Titles? That honour is shared between the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks who have both won the Pacific Division a total of six times, which is two more than the next best which is the Calgary Flames with four wins.

Anaheim Ducks

Playing under the original name of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 1993, the franchise was founded by the Walt Disney Company and was named after the 1992 movie The Mighty Ducks, in 2005 the franchise was sold and the name was changed to the current Anaheim Ducks. The team plays its home games at the Honda Center, they are affiliated with minor league teams the San Diego Gulls (AHL) and the Tulsa Oilers (ECHL). The club has only one Stanley Cup to their name, which was won just after the Walt Disney Company sold the franchise with their win coming in the 2006-07 season, their only previous appearance in the final was in 2003 when losing 4-3 to the Devils, they have not made a Stanley Cup final since winning it.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 1 (Last win 2007)
  • Conference Championships: 2 (Last win 2007)
  • Division Championships: 6 (Last win 2017)
  • Presidents Trophies: 0
  • Head Coach: Greg Cronin

Calgary Flames

Founded in 1972 as the Atlanta Flames, they remained in Atlanta for eight years where they didn't pick up any sort of titles before moving to Calgary in 1980 to become the Calgary Flames. They play their home games at the Scotiabank Saddledome, named as such because the roof is reminiscent of a horse saddle, they are affiliated with the minor league teams, the Stockton Heat (AHL) and the Kansas City Mavericks (ECHL). Since moving to Calgary they have been much more successful, winning their one and only Stanley Cup in 1989, they have won a total of three conference titles and their division title in 2022 was their eighth overall, they have twice won the President's Trophy which is awarded to the team scoring the most points over the season.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 1 (Last win 1989)
  • Conference Championships: 3 (Last win 2004)
  • Division Championships: 7 (Last win 2022)
  • Presidents Trophies: 2 (Last win 1989)
  • Head Coach: Ryan Huska

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers can boast the fact that they have won five Stanley Cups, however, those five wins came between 1984 & 1990 when winning all five finals that they made, since 1990, they have made only one final which was in 2006 and they lost that 4-3 to the Hurricanes. They have won a total of seven conference titles and nine division titles but their last in that was back in 1992, they have twice picked up the Presidents' Trophy (1986 & 1987). They were founded in 1972 as the Alberta Oilers when playing in the WHA and then a year later as the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA where they remained until joining the NHL in 1979, they play their home games at Rogers Place and are affiliated with the Bakersfield Condors (AHL) and the Wichita Thunder (ECHL).

  • Stanley Cup Win: 5 (Last win 1990)
  • Conference Championships: 7 (Last win 2006)
  • Division Championships: 9 (Last win 1992)
  • Presidents Trophies: 2 (Last win 1987)
  • Head Coach: Jay Woodcroft

Los Angeles Kings

The home of the LA Kings, the Staple Center is one of the most known stadiums in the US, not only is it home to the Kings, but it is also home to both Los Angeles NBA teams, the Lakers and Clippers, outside the arena, there are statues to decorated sportsmen and women, the NHL legend, Wayne Gretzky who spent eight years with the Kings is one of those along with Luc Robitaille who had three spells with the Kings and the legendary Kings broadcaster Bob Miller. The Kings have won a total of two Stanley Cups which came within three years having won in 2012 & 2014, they have not made another final since 2014 and only have one divisional title win to their name which came in 1991, they are affiliated with the AHL team, the Ontario Reign.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 2 (Last win 2014)
  • Conference Championships: 3 (Last win 2014)
  • Division Championships: 1 (Last win 1991)
  • Presidents Trophies: 0
  • Head Coach: Todd McLellan

San Jose Sharks

Just one Stanley Cup finals appearance for the San Jose Sharks, which came in 2016 when they went into the playoffs as the sixth seeds on the western side, they beat the St. Louis Blues in the conference final 4-2 to advance to the finals where they lost 4-2 to the Penguins where they failed to take advantage of home ice losing two of their three games. They have won a total of six divisional titles and picked up the Presidents' Trophy once which was in 2009, the franchise was founded in 1991 and since 1993 has played their home games at the SAP Center having previously played at the Cow Palace and the club is affiliated with one other team which is the San Jose Barracuda in the AHL.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 0
  • Conference Championships: 1 (Last win 2016)
  • Division Championships: 6 (Last win 2011)
  • Presidents Trophies: 1 (Last win 2009)
  • Head Coach: David Quinn

Seattle Kracken

The Seattle Kracken are the latest expansion team to join the league having joined in 2021, they failed to make the playoffs in their first season but made it to the second round in their second season going out to the Stars.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 0
  • Conference Championships: 0
  • Division Championships: 0
  • Presidents Trophies: 0
  • Head Coach: Dave Hakstol

Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks were founded in 1945 and they participated in the PCHL from then until 1952, then between 1952 & 1970 they were part of the WHL and since 1970 have been in the NHL. Since 1995, the Canucks have played their home games at the Rogers Center in Downtown Vancouver, they have appeared in three Stanley Cup finals and have a perfect record.....losing all three! In 1982 they were whitewashed by the Islanders who were winning their third consecutive title, in 1994 they came from 3-1 down against the Rangers to tie up the series 3-3 but lost in Game 7 to lose 4-3 and then in 2011 they faced the Bruins and despite taking a 2-0 lead in the series they couldn't see it out and lost 4-3. They have won ten division titles and picked up the Presidents' Trophy twice (2011 & 2012), they have an affiliate link with both the Utica Comics (AHL) and the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL).

  • Stanley Cup Win: 0
  • Conference Championships: 3 (Last win 2011)
  • Division Championships: 10 (Last win 2013)
  • Presidents Trophies: 2 (Last win 2012)
  • Head Coach: Rick Tocchet

Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights are based in Las Vegas, they joined the NHL in 2017 and made an immediate impact, back-to-back Stanley Cup-winning goalie Marc-Andre Fleury joined the franchise and led the Golden Knights to his third consecutive Stanley Cup in their first season, they eventually went down 4-1 to the Capitals but it was an inaugural season to remember in LV! It was a much tougher second season, however, they made the playoffs again but couldn't get past the first round losing 4-3 to the Sharks and then in 2020 made it to the conference final where they lost 4-1 to the Stars. In 2023 they tasted their first success when defeating the Panthers 4-1 in the Stanley Cup final to clinch their first trophy. They play their home games in Paradise, Nevada at the T-Mobile Arena and they are affiliated with two teams, the Henderson Silver Knights (AHL) and the Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL).

  • Stanley Cup Win: 1 (Last win 2023)
  • Conference Championships: 2 (Last win 2023)
  • Division Championships: 3 (Last win 2023)
  • Presidents Trophies: 0
  • Head Coach: Bruce Cassidy

An Introduction To The Central Franchises

Who has won the most Central Division Titles? The Central Division has not been around too long and the Detroit Red Wings (now in the Atlantic Division) dominated this division with a total of thirteen titles, of the currently active teams in the division the St. Louis Blues lead the way thanks to the 2020 success with four titles, the Blackhawks, Stars & Avs are all one behind on three.

Arizona Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes are just one of four franchises who have never made it to a Stanley Cup final despite making a total of nine playoffs, that also means that they have never won a conference final and they only have one division win to their name which came in 2012. They were the original Winnipeg Jets between 1979-1996, they then moved to become the Phoenix Coyotes between 1996-2014 and were on the move again in 2014 when finding their current home in Arizona where they play their home games at the Gila River Arena in Glendale. They have two minor league affiliates who are the AHL team, the Tucson Roadrunners and the ECHL team, the Rapid City Rush.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 0
  • Conference Championships: 0
  • Division Championships: 1 (Last win 2012)
  • Presidents Trophies: 0
  • Head Coach: Andre Tourigny

Chicago Blackhawks

Founded in 1926, the only adjustment to their name was between 1926 & 1986 they were known as the Chicago Black Hawks and since 1986 that has become one word to be known as the Chicago Blackhawks! The United Center has been their home since 1994 having previously played at the Chicago Stadium for sixty-five years before its closing in 1994, they are affiliated with the minor league teams Rockford IceHogs (AHL) and Indy Fuel (ECHL). They are six-time Stanley Cup champions with their first win coming back in 1934, they also won it in 1938 before a twenty-three-year period with no wins until winning it in 1961, their other three have been more recent with wins in 2010, 2013 & 2015. They are sixteen-time division champions, and four-time conference champions and have won the President's Trophy twice.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 6 (Last win 2015)
  • Conference Championships: 4 (Last win 2015)
  • Division Championships: 16 (Last win 2017)
  • Presidents Trophies: 2 (Last win 2013)
  • Head Coach: Luke Richardson

Colorado Avalanche

Before 2022, all of the Avalanche's success came twenty years ago, however, they are now three-time Stanley Cup champions, their first win came in 1996 when they whitewashed the Panthers 4-0, and five years later in 2001, it was a much tougher final when they beat the Devils 4-3. In 2022 they ended their wait for another Stanley Cup when defeating the Lightning 4-2, those have also been the only three finals that they have made meaning when getting to the finals, they have a 100% record. Founded in 1972 they were initially based in Quebec and played in the WHL under the name the Quebec Nordiques, joining the NHL in 1979 they remained in Quebec until 1995 when they moved to Colorado and became the Colorado Avalance, they have affiliate links with the Colorado Eagles (AHL) and the Utah Grizzlies (ECHL).

  • Stanley Cup Win: 3 (Last win 2022)
  • Conference Championships: 3 (Last win 2022)
  • Division Championships: 12 (Last win 2023)
  • Presidents Trophies: 3 (Last win 2021)
  • Head Coach: Jared Bednar

Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars' appearance in the 2020 Stanley Cup was the first time they have made the final in twenty years after losing to the Devils 4-2 in 2000, twenty years later and it was the same scoreline of 4-2 that they were on the wrong side of against the Lightning. The 2020 finals were their fifth finals but their conversion rate is not so good, they also lost in both 1981 & 1991 whilst their only Stanley Cup success came in 1999 when they had a 4-2 series win over the Sabres. In addition to that win, they have won a total of eight division championships and have lifted the Presidents' Trophy twice (1998 & 1999). The Stars were initially known as the Minnesota North Stars between 1967 & 1993 before moving to Dallas where they play their home games at the American Airlines Center and are affiliated with the Texas Stars (AHL) and the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL).

  • Stanley Cup Win: 1 (Last win 1999)
  • Conference Championships: 3 (Last win 2020)
  • Division Championships: 8 (Last win 2016)
  • Presidents Trophies: 2 (Last win 1999)
  • Head Coach: Peter DeBoer

Minnesota Wild

Initially founded in 1997, the Minnesota Wild did not join the league until 2000 when they became the first NHL franchise in Minnesota since the North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993. They play their home games at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul and are currently affiliated with the AHL team Iowa Wild and the ECHL team Allen Americans. They are yet to make an impact on the NHL, they are still awaiting their first Stanley Cup finals appearance and only have one division championship to their name which came in 2008, they failed to make the playoffs in 2019 and the 2020 season crashed out in the qualifying round with a 3-1 defeat to the Canucks.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 0
  • Conference Championships: 0
  • Division Championships: 1 (Last win 2008)
  • Presidents Trophies: 0
  • Head Coach: Dean Evason

Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators were founded in 1998 and play their home games at the Bridgestone Arena, they saw their first playoff action in 2005 but failed to make it out of the first round losing 4-2 to the Red Wings, in 2017 they made their first-ever Stanley Cup finals where they faced the Pittsburgh Penguins, they found themselves 2-0 down after the first two games but pulled the series back to 2-2 only to lose the next two without scoring which saw them lose the series 4-2 and the Pens pick up back-to-back championships. The following season saw them pick up the Presidents' Trophy and they won back-to-back division champions in 2018 & 2019, they are affiliated with the minor league teams Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) and the Florida Everblades (ECHL).

  • Stanley Cup Win: 0
  • Conference Championships: 1 (Last win 2017)
  • Division Championships: 2 (Last win 2019)
  • Presidents Trophies: 1 (Last win 2018)
  • Head Coach: Andrew Brunette

St. Louis Blues

William Christopher Handy who referred to himself as the 'Father of the Blues' once composed a song titled 'Saint Louis Blues' and that is where the team from St. Louis gets their name, founded in 1967 the Blues have played their home games at the Enterprise Center since 1995 having initially played at the St Louis Arena before that and the team is affiliated with the AHL team, the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Blues made three consecutive Stanley Cup finals between 1968 & 1970, they were whitewashed by the Canadiens in 1968 & 1969 and then whitewashed by the Bruins in 1970 and they had to wait till 2019 for their next finals which turned out to be their first and only Stanley Cup win to date, they beat the Bruins in a Game 7 decider.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 1 (Last win 2019)
  • Conference Championships: 1 (Last win 2019)
  • Division Championships: 10 (Last win 2020)
  • Presidents Trophies: 1 (Last win 2000)
  • Head Coach: Craig Berube

Winnipeg Jets

Founded in 1999, the franchise was originally in Atlanta as the Thrashers where they remained until 2011, during that time they did not make much of an impact, they won just the single division championship which was in 2007. In 2011 they moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets with their home games being played at the Bell MTS Place, they currently have affiliate links with the Manitoba Moose (AHL) and the Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL). Since moving to Winnipeg, the Jets have returned a blank, zero conference championships and zero division championships, they have made the last three playoffs and lost in the conference final in 2018 but have gone out in the first round and qualifying round in the last two seasons.

  • Stanley Cup Win: 0
  • Conference Championships: 0
  • Division Championships: 0
  • Presidents Trophies: 0
  • Head Coach: Rick Bowness

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Author Information

Andy Powell manages this NHL Western Conference Preview & Betting Guide and other hockey content in this section of the site as well as the Ice Hockey Tipsters in the OLBG tipster competition in his role in the OLBG Expert Team. Andy meticulously updates the date and results for these pieces and is an erstwhile Penguins fan in the NHL. He provides Ice Hockey betting advice in our bookmaker reviews as well as providing a huge contribution to the Best Ice Hockey Betting Sites Guide.

Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy also possesses a keen interest in American sports with a particular affinity for the NFL and the NHL. He follows the Pittsburgh Penguins, emphasizing his broad palette for diversified sporting events.

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