October will be here soon enough.

And when it arrives, Vladimir Tarasenko and his 270 career NHL goals will have a full-time job as a top-six winger with one of the league's 32 teams.

But in July, it's all still a mystery.

The 31-year-old started the 2022-23 season with the St. Louis Blues before a deal shortly before the trade deadline sent him to New York, where he finished the regular schedule and played one ultimately disappointing playoff round with the Rangers.

General manager Chris Drury brought Tarasenko and Patrick Kane in as needle-movers as the team tried to better its run to the postseason final four from the previous spring, but neither Tarasenko's 21 points in 31 regular games nor his four in seven playoff games were enough, and the eight-year, $60 million contract he signed expired on July 1.

He wasn't among the first wave of players signing new deals in the first few days of the month and now that July is nearing its halfway point his future remains the stuff of daily conjecture among those who follow such things for a living. The B/R hockey staff is certainly among that group and assessed the situation while compiling an updated list of landing spots that seem to make the most sense for the prolific Russian-born sniper.

Take a look at what we came up with and drop a thought of your own in the comments.


Carolina Hurricanes

We'll make this simple.

If what Tarasenko values most in a 2023-24 employer is the chance provided to win a second career Stanley Cup, there's no place like Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Carolina Hurricanes were the league's second-best regular-season team behind the record-setting Boston Bruins and GM Don Waddell has been busy in the offseason locking up his incumbent goaltending tandem for another season while adding top-pair defenseman Dmitry Orlov and feisty winger Michael Bunting as free agents.

Multiple reports suggested Waddell was already near a deal with Tarasenko's agent, Paul Theofanous, early last week, but nothing was officially announced between the sides and Tarasenko turned up with new representation by midweek, essentially taking all existing offers and progress off the table.

It doesn't change the reality that the Hurricanes are legit contenders and Tarasenko could be precisely what's needed to round out a squad that allowed the fewest shots (26) and second-fewest goals (2.56) per game, but was just 15th among 32 teams in goals scored (262).

If that's still what matters, he'll be setting up shop at PNC Arena.