Interview with Larry Fisher and Bill O’Brien

"With four Canadian teams qualifying for the NHL playoffs, PowerPlay saw plenty of betting action this year"'s Larry Fisher, Head of Content; and Bill O’Brien, Sportsbook Manager
Reading time 3:12 min

As the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs progress, with the Final Four matches currently taking place to determine which two teams make it to the Stanley Cup final, Canadian sportsbooks have seen a spike in betting activity for the sport.

With four Canadian teams qualifying for the NHL playoffs this year, bettors were eager to place their bets on their favorites, taking advantage of the growing number of options provided by sportsbooks in the country. 

While now only one Canadian team remains in competition - the Edmonton Oilers, currently facing the Dallas Stars in round three - the excitement has all but faded away, proving the franchise's popularity in the country, especially as it rosters the most Canadian-born players of the remaining teams.

Ahead of the series Game 5, taking place this Friday, Yogonet spoke with's Larry Fisher, Head of Content and Bill O’Brien, Sportsbook Manager, on how the sports betting operator prepared for the playoffs this year, the Oilers' odds to win the Cup, and more.

With the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs in full swing, has the sportsbook seen a spike in hockey bets over the last few weeks? How did PowerPlay prepare for this event?

Larry Fisher, Head of Content for With four Canadian teams qualifying for the NHL playoffs this year, PowerPlay saw plenty of betting action from the Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Edmonton markets.

Toronto and Winnipeg were eliminated in the first round, with Edmonton ousting Vancouver in the second round. Edmonton is currently facing Dallas in the third round after advancing to the Final Four.

PowerPlay has had the following promotions during the playoffs:

Starting April 20, place a single bet of $100 on any opening NHL playoff game and get another $25 Free Bet. We usually have a Bet $100 Get $20 all season long but for the playoffs, we wanted to step up our game and offer an extra $5.

Claim a $5 Free Bet on the same game parlay on June 9 at 12 p.m. ET.

Starting June 10 at 12 p.m. ET, place a $100 bet on any live Stanley Cup Final game to get a $25 Free Bet.

On January 20, PowerPlay celebrated Hockey Day In Canada with the following promotions:

Boosted odds from +200 to +350 for a Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup.

20/1 odds for an all-Canadian final.

How do PowerPlay’s offerings set the brand apart both in this sport and other competitions? Which types of bets are preferred by customers in hockey?

Bill O’Brien, Sportsbook Manager: With our recent/pending GiG migration, we now offer Same Game Parlay for the NHL, which allows our players to combine a wide variety of selections from the same game.

We are also excited about our new ‘Multiboost’ feature for parlays, where players get an extra winning percentage based on how many selections are in their bet — the bonus gets bigger percentage-wise with every added selection. This will be super popular when the regular season is back!

Are there noticeable differences in playoffs bets between sports, for instance, between NHL and NBA? Which one sees bigger bets?

O’Brien: During the regular season, we tend to see larger bets on the NBA, but in the playoffs our players have really gotten behind their teams.

We’ve seen some pretty big bets on the Canucks, and some customers have made a nice profit from their playoff run despite not managing to get to the Conference Final.

The third round of the playoffs has begun with, as you pointed out, one remaining Canadian team – the Edmonton Oilers. The series promises to be intense - what can you tell us about it? Are fans backing the team to win this round?

Fisher: Edmonton is now officially Canada’s team, especially with the Oilers rostering the most Canadian-born players of the remaining teams.

Prior to Thursday’s opener, Dallas was favored to win Game 1 (1.72 to 2.10 / -138 to +110) as well as the series (1.75 to 2.05 / -133 to +105).

Prior to that matchup and entering the second round, Edmonton was favored to win the Stanley Cup but, as of May 23, the Oilers now have the third-best odds to win the Cup (+280) behind Florida (+160) and Dallas (+250) but ahead of the New York Rangers (+650). Those odds reflect Florida defeating the Rangers 3-0 in their series opener on May 22.

O’Brien: The Oilers are the popular team in this series, and are almost certainly going to be popular in the final if they get there. They were already our biggest loser in the book coming into the playoffs. If the Oilers manage to win the Cup, it could be an expensive few weeks for us.

Fisher: As an Oilers fan or from a family of Oilers fans, I will have to keep my celebrating to myself!

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