While introducing new signings Evgeni Nabokov and Denis Grebeshkov, KHL and SKA St.Petersburg president Alexander Medvedev announced that long-time NHL winger Maxim Afinogenov planned to join his club for the upcoming season. Afinogenov agreed to join the club for the next five years after the Atlanta Thrashers wouldn’t meet his demands.
The 30-year-old winger had a breakout season with the Thrashers recording 61 points for the first time since 2006. He came to the Thrashers on the cheap, signing a $800,000 contract after playing his entire career with the Buffalo Sabres where he only tallied a combined 48 points in the prior two seasons. He becomes the latest NHL’er to defect to the KHL and the third to SKA. Afinogenov previously played for the now defunct Dynamo Moscow of the now defunct Russian Super League.
In 651 games, Afinogenov had 158 goals and 237 assists for 395 goals. He could return to the NHL at 35 but I doubt his market value will be any higher than it was now.