(courtesy of The Hockey News)
Former Buffalo Sabres RW Maxim Afinogenov has been invited by the Atlanta Thrashers for a tryout with the team. While this isn’t exactly breaking news since he was invited back on the 17th we are currently getting ready for some big changes to the site which has put our number one priority on the back burner.
Afinogenov spent most of the off-season in his hometown of Moscow preparing for the Russian National Team training camp with his former club Dynamo Moscow. He even took part in a fan appreciation day with Dynamo against their fans.
With rumors that Atlanta had gone after former ranger Nikolai Zherdev before his move to Atlant Moscow Oblast it appears that Afinogenov might be his replacement. It is possible that fellow countryman and captain Ilya Kovalchuk recommended Afinogenov as he was vocal in the signing of Nik Antropov earlier in the summer.
With Atlanta trying to do everything in their power to keep Kovalchuk who is entering the last year of his contract they might offer a deal to Afinogenov to appease the former Spartak Moscow standout.
Afinogenov spent most of last year on the injured list and but did however lead the Sabres in scoring in 2005-06 with 73 points. GM Don Waddell said of the recently turned 30-year-old “He’s a high-end guy, a skill guy, it doesn’t hurt. We’ll see what happens.”
In 569 NHL games he has 134 goals, 200 assists for 334 points. However his tendency to get injured has not helped him find a team since he became a free agent. If the Thrashers do not extend an offer it is highly plausible the speedy winger would return to Russia and most likely Dynamo to finish off his career that has seen goals such as this one below.
Day after this intial post Afinogenov signed a one-year contract worth $800,000.