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.

3. New York Islanders

The New York Islanders just can't score goals. They couldn't do it against the Carolina Hurricanes in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they struggled to do it all season. Even with Bo Horvat in the picture and Matt Barzal reportedly fully healthy, there is still concern about this team's ability to fill the net.

They averaged 2.95 goals for per game during the regular season, good enough for 22nd in the league. With an emphasis on defensive play and goaltending paramount in New York, they truly are missing a sniper to put on either Horvat or Barzal's wing. Tarasenko would be the answer, and they have the space to make it work.

It would also help that Tarasenko wouldn't have to move to another state, with Islanders and Rangers territory quite close in proximity. There were rumblings that he would accept a trade to Long Island before he was dealt to the Big Apple, and in free agency, it makes a ton of sense.

2. Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights dominated the postseason en route to their first Stanley Cup in just their sixth year of existence. They don't really need to get better, but they certainly can.

The Knights will be better constructed than almost any team in recent memory the year after winning the Cup, and they're already the team to beat next season. They will be running it back with most of the core, including Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Marchessault, Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith.

There would need to be some cap gymnastics involved, but if one or both of Adin Hill or Ivan Barbashev decide to move on in free agency, which is certainly possible, Tarasenko would look excellent on a line with Eichel or Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone. If he wants to win another Stanley Cup Tarasenko should strongly consider Las Vegas next season.

1. Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have not been able to get over the hump in the past few seasons. They've advanced to three Eastern Conference Finals since 2009 and been swept in all three of them, the most recent to the Florida Panthers this year.

The Hurricanes have been one of the best teams in the league for five years and will continue to be, but they need to find a way to string together some wins in the postseason. Sure, the conference final is an excellent showing, but this team should be good enough to at least contend for a Stanley Cup in this window.

Veterans Jordan Staal, Jesper Fast, Derek Stepan and Max Pacioretty are all unrestricted free agents, and not all of them will be back in 2023-24. Add to that the fact the team has a ton of salary cap space to work with and 17 players already under contract. Vladimir Tarasenko would be just the scoring winger the Hurricanes would covet, and desperately need, if they want to win a Stanley Cup. He would also look great on a line with Sebastian Aho.

The New York Islanders are a longshot, but the Avalanche, Golden Knights and Hurricanes should all be contenders next season — and they should all be kicking the tires on Vladimir Tarasenko in free agency.