Things didn't go quite the way Vladimir Tarasenko probably imagined when he was traded to the New York Rangers and joined by Patrick Kane shortly after. Expectations were sky high the Big Apple, and New York proceeded to lose in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the New Jersey Devils, frankly looking abysmal after jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the series.

It's certainly likely that the Russian sniper could explore re-signing with the Rangers, but after a coaching change and the unlikelihood of Kane signing a contract, it would certainly make sense for the 31-year-old to look into signing with a contender for 2023-24 and beyond.

Almost every team in the National Hockey League would benefit from his services as a goal-scoring winger who still has some gas left in the tank. Here are four teams that would make a lot of sense for the winger if he decides to test unrestricted free agency on Jul. 1.


4. Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche would be an intriguing landing spot for Vladimir Tarasenko for multiple reasons. They certainly have the money; Erik Johnson will be off the books after informing the team he won't be re-signing and would test the free agency waters for the first time in his career, and Gabriel Landeskog's hefty cap hit set to be on LTIR and not count for 2023-24 as he continues to rehab from knee surgery that will cost him another season.

Although the Avs were formidable in their 2022 Stanley Cup run, the armor showed significant chinks in 2022-23, as they bowed out in the first round to the Seattle Kraken in seven games. The winger depth is just not what it once was, headlined by Mikko Rantanen but not boasting any other stars. J.T. Compher is another player who could leave in free agency, leaving the team thin on the wing.

And that's assuming Valeri Nichushkin will be back for the 2023-24 season, which is still up in the air after a bombshell encounter at a Seattle hotel caused him to miss the the final five games of his team's playoff run. Without a doubt, Tarasenko would be a great fit in Colorado, and he should be a top target as they look to return to Stanley Cup form next year.