Thrashers add Afinogenov for tryout

The Thrashers will bring Maxim Afinogenov, who played in Buffalo last season, into training camp for a pro tryout. He is expected to arrive Thursday night.

Afinogenov was injured much of last season, but the 6-foot-1, 191-pound Russian forward led the Sabres in scoring in 2005-06 with 73 points.

“He’s a high-end guy, a skill guy,” Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said. “It doesn’t hurt. We’ll see what happens.”

Afinogenov had 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) last season for the Sabres.

He was a third-round draft pick in 1997.

What are your thoughts?

106 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
11:12 am

HOLY COW!! On a tryout?

I’m all for a tryout… glad we didn’t have to sign him first!

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
11:13 am

What are your thoughts?

Waddell said it best… “It doesn’t hurt. We’ll see what happens.”

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 17th, 2009
11:18 am

That’s funny…I’m guessing he wont make the cut, but I would agree with Waddell (and Hokie) that there’s relatively no harm in giving him a chance.

The only downside is his demand for ice time on a tryout basis takes minutes away from youth players like Machacek and Holzapfel, who need the time to show their NHL readiness.

Jeremy H

September 17th, 2009
11:19 am

Iiiiiiiinteresting. I can’t help but think this means management has identified a player currently on the roster, that isn’t up to snuff.

mutton

September 17th, 2009
11:22 am

For some reason I always have trouble confusing Miro Satan and Max Afinogenov. Not really sure why…

I think it cant hurt, but some part of me wonders why he didnt go in free agency. I mean yeah I know there are only 180 top 6 forward positions in the NHL so its entirely possible that theres no big reason why he didnt get signed. And maybe he comes to camp, plays with some of our Russian players, and rekindles his scoring touch in a big way. If he has a good camp and makes the team, then goes on to bag 60+ points (while playing responsible defense? too much to ask?), I think it would be a good thing. But we wont know until after its over. Part of me likes this because DEEdub is TRYING things. Hes going out and saying “What we currently have may not be enough. I’m going to bring in a little insurance and competition, and we’ll take it from there.” But part of me doesnt like it, because one of the big things about this team during the summer months was that there hadnt been many additions to the team. Antro and Kubina were most likely the only major new guys, with some guys like Stewart and Gratton possibly earning a spot. I agree with Hokie though, at least its just a tryout contract. Like Legace, its no risk because they can just outright release him. Im not entirely sure how I feel about this though. Im all for competition, but part of me wonders if DEEdub is putting too many irons in the fire…

Sean

September 17th, 2009
11:23 am

Can he kill penalties?

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
11:24 am

The only downside is his demand for ice time on a tryout basis takes minutes away from youth players like Machacek and Holzapfel, who need the time to show their NHL readiness

Absolutely, no question… in fact, I’d say this puts Peverley and Kane in competition for the 3rd line LW… that’s a good problem to have.

Holzie is a long-shot anyway… and Machacek has to step it up tonight and tomorrow. It might be the only shot he gets before Saturday’s cuts.

Jared

September 17th, 2009
11:28 am

Good golly ms molly! this is weird but hes only completed 4 full seasons out of 10 and he is scary looking. Could his face replace the ogre in Holik??????????? I say we will probably let kane stay over this man unless he would play on the 4th line which is bs. I dont see him competing for anyone else’s position. Can he play goalie?

Jarndyce

September 17th, 2009
11:30 am

Ah, the poor fan’s Zherdev. I liked Afinogenov 7 or 8 years ago. But now? He’s struggled with groin injuries the last two seasons (missed 50 games in two seasons). He’s lost a step because of it, and has stuggled. He still has the hands, but he doesn’t seem able to create space anymore, which is not good for this team.

But for a free tryout? Hell yeah. If he can prove himself healthy, he’ll be a nice 2nd line rw.

Maxim Afinogenov to tryout with Atlanta |

September 17th, 2009
11:31 am

[...] Full Story Here [...]

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
11:33 am

Im not entirely sure how I feel about this though. Im all for competition, but part of me wonders if DEEdub is putting too many irons in the fire…

I can’t help but feel the same way… except I’d liken it to a stick in the spokes.

Smitty

September 17th, 2009
11:35 am

He is exciting. It is a good thing JA has a full head of hair because they will not be much left after trying to coach this guy.

R. Stroz

September 17th, 2009
11:42 am

Kovy’s been doing some more recruiting.

mutton

September 17th, 2009
11:46 am

“I can’t help but feel the same way… except I’d liken it to a stick in the spokes.”

Hokie – Thats a MUCH better analogy for it.

Toby

September 17th, 2009
11:59 am

Should be a really intense camp. With the 4th liners expected to play in the first 2 preseason games, makes me wonder if they are getting a loooong look.

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
12:00 pm

Kovy’s been doing some more recruiting.

And this is where I’d have a problem with Kovy’s “recruiting”… let’s say Peverley is hands down the better value and better two-way option over Afinegenov, but Kovy comes to Waddell and says, “I’m enjoying playing with Maxim.” If Waddell still remains deadset on playing Kane on the 3rd line LW, Peverley becomes odd man out and gets dealt for draft picks.

Sara

September 17th, 2009
12:02 pm

I like it for all the aforementioned reasons.

Section119

September 17th, 2009
12:02 pm

Afinogenov is one of those players that was always going to better next year. Now he is older and his skills and desire are fleeting. Waste of time, unless it makes Kovy happy!

Duder

September 17th, 2009
12:13 pm

Hokie,

Remember that Kovy wants to win. Trust that his desire to be on a good team will trump whatever loyalty he might have to players from his home country

Barry

September 17th, 2009
12:14 pm

My response is this: WHY? We already have alot of forwards basically competing for that ONLY available spot on the 3rd line with Armstrong and Reasoner. Waddell and Group didn’t want to sign Zherdev so they would allow Kane every chance to earn that spot, so why bring over Afinogenov??? Makes absolutely no sense to me.

World Be Free

September 17th, 2009
12:15 pm

Well, this is a surprise and kinda interesting. My Sabres’ friends in Buffalo are howling. There’s a lot of “61” jerseys in Buffalo and that’s not for Roger Maris. Max has a following because he can bring you out of your seat.

I can only hurt if Max takes ice time away from a youngster that needs a look-see. He’s been a human turnover machine the past few seasons. He doesn’t go to the net or dig in the corners. He either has eggs in his pockets or he’s afraid to take a hit to make a play.

On the other hand, he hasn’t had anyone in Buffalo to jell with in a long time. Max needs space and playing with Kovy and Antropov may give him that space.

J.B.

September 17th, 2009
12:18 pm

this says to me that possibly one or more of our 4th liners isn’t up to snuff and our prospects who could fill those spots aren’t quite ready to make the jump for opening night. If I’m not mistaken Kovy has played with Max on the Russian National team in the World Championships and the Olympics every applicable year since 2002.

LAC

September 17th, 2009
12:19 pm

Interesting, could be a big surprise or a big waste of time…

Smoothie

September 17th, 2009
12:24 pm

Is this Waddell’s idea of Russian Roulette??

I don’t understand this move at all, but certainly can’t hurt. Could be insurance in the event of a trade to get more goaltending help if things don’t work out with the guys they have now.

Toby

September 17th, 2009
12:28 pm

4th liners or Pevs…something’s up….

Bottom line…It’s free for now so it can’t be a bad move

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
12:34 pm

This reeks of yet another guy that Kozlov has to make look good on a second line because they can’t gel with Kovalchuk.

Smoothie

September 17th, 2009
12:37 pm

I guess more than just McConnell and Eliot read these blogs because we were talking about giving Crazy Legs a “free” tryout last spring. I think bringing him off of waivers last spring for a few weeks would have made more sense, but it must’ve come down to money again. If Afinogenov wows everyone, clicks with Kovy, who’s the odd-man out?

Peverley or White? Peverley is much, much cheaper so there’s your answer! Kovy – Antro – Max; Kozzy – Pevs – Litts??

Toby

September 17th, 2009
12:48 pm

I would think that Max would need a set-up guy like White. I think Pevs would be the odd man out or someone on the third line (Army?) heads to the 4th line and bye bye Thorbs.

J.B.

September 17th, 2009
12:48 pm

4th liners or Pevs…something’s up….

Bottom line…It’s free for now so it can’t be a bad move

what Toby said; he hit the nail on the head…

(jeez, must I must have had green eggs & ham for lunch)

MS

September 17th, 2009
12:48 pm

Frickin’ Awesome!

J.B.

September 17th, 2009
12:49 pm

4th liners or Pevs…something’s up….

Bottom line…It’s free for now so it can’t be a bad move

what Toby said; he hit the nail on the head…

(jeez, I must have had green eggs & ham for lunch)

World Be Free

September 17th, 2009
12:50 pm

Max isn’t going to do any of the dirty work. Thorburn is a grinder and I prefer an over-achieving grinder to an under-achieving floater.

Toby

September 17th, 2009
1:02 pm

I wouldn’t say he’s over-achieving, I just call him a grinder

R. Stroz

September 17th, 2009
1:07 pm

How to drive Sabres Fans Crazy 101:

1) Sign Afinogenov to inexpensive contract

2) Afinogenov scores hat trick against Sabres

3) Afinogenov plays more than 80% of the games in a season.

Kenny

September 17th, 2009
1:16 pm

Waddell knows we are heading for another Lotto Pick, maybe more after we trade Kovy.

Kenny

September 17th, 2009
1:16 pm

Max will replace Kovy when he is traded.

Wally

September 17th, 2009
1:17 pm

I’m from Buffalo and can say Max is a shell of his former self. We call him Mr Turnover. He doesn’t kill penalties. He can stickhandle around you while inside a telephone booth, but never makes the phone ring anymore.

That said, if you sign him for 1.5 million and not the 3-3.5 it’s a good deal.

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 17th, 2009
1:19 pm

How to drive Sabres Fans Crazy 101:

There’s a simple one-step process you can do…complain about their rude fans and see the fans come out of the woodwork to defend their honor.

Kenny

September 17th, 2009
1:24 pm

But we have rude fans too ranallo10 (in AT), the Nasty Nest. Those people are wannabees anyways

Zoomo

September 17th, 2009
1:30 pm

Not sure how this will work out. The guy was a turnover machine last year. Great skills, but really seemed to be lost. Wonder if Anderson thinks he can get him to play more disciplined in his system?

Hockey Biltong

September 17th, 2009
1:34 pm

M.A.??? I hope he’s gone as soon as camp is over. I don’t see him being responsible on the ice.
Sorry.

Minnesota Hockey Guy

September 17th, 2009
1:40 pm

He’s going to have a bounce back year and Atlanta will be happy to have him! He needed to get out of Buffalo and away from Lindy Ruff who used him as a whipping boy. Us Wild fans were hoping they’d give him a shot here… I think you guys will get a bargain! : )

ben

September 17th, 2009
1:40 pm

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! Kovy can RECRUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

mid-ga-hockey fan

September 17th, 2009
1:41 pm

I like this,more competition,this may be a wake -up call to a 3rd or 4th line forward that is not working as hard or someone may be slowed by some kind of injury that we don’t know about.I like MA’s ability,I just hope he can stay healthy.Maybe playing with Kovy and Nik will inspire him to maybe play through some of the nagging injuries,I hope that if it comes down to it that we keep Pevs and trade White.I don’t see moving one down to a lower line,I see this as insurance to use towards a trade,Maybe White and a “#1 goaltender” for a top line goaltender or another quality D-man?

Darkhorse

September 17th, 2009
1:58 pm

I think it’s a good assumption they asked Zherdev to come in cheap for one year or on a tryout basis and he said no thanks. Now on to Plan B. The fourth liners and bubble prospects have their chance the next two nights to step up. Never been a big fan of Max, but have no problem with a tryout. He kinda reminds me of the Forward version of Kari. All the talent in the world followed very closely by all those injuries.

Sykora just sign with the Wild officially for one year ESPN reports.

[...] AJC: The Thrashers will bring Maxim Afinogenov, who played in Buffalo last season, into training camp [...]

Sabres Fan

September 17th, 2009
2:07 pm

Max played for Randy Cunneyworth a couple of years ago in Rochester. He was pretty productive prior to being called up to Buffalo. If he has the right mates on a line he will cause the defense to look very bad, real quick.

Buffalo Soldier

September 17th, 2009
2:17 pm

Take it from a Sabres fan, DO NOT sign Captain Turnover. Don’t get lulled into that 70 pt season he had right after the lockout, that was the highest scoring team in hockey that year. Let me sum up 99% of Max’s possessions: Picks up the puck either behind his own net or receives an outlet pass from one of the defenseman. Skates 328 mph through the neutral zone (fans start getting excited). Takes one step over the blue line, can’t slow himself down & gets poke checked. Opposition gets an odd man rush in the other direction.

World Be Free

September 17th, 2009
2:30 pm

Max played for the Sabres for 10 years, he was their longest serving player. He played well for a long time (under Lindy Ruff), but his time was up. It was good for him to move on and Sabres wish him the best. If he does well here, that will be great for all.

Max is to Buffalo what Ex is to the Thrashers; a good relationship that had to end. Sabres have more issues that worry about then what Max does here.

Max’s Sabres jerseys are 50% off.

FYI-Minnesota-Lindy is the longest serving coach in the league. I think he’s doing something right.

Smoothie

September 17th, 2009
2:31 pm

mid-ga-hockey-fan hit the nail on the head. This is a fall-back contingency plan in the event of injury or more likely a trade for another goaltender who can play starting minutes. If Pavs doesn’t show well, Waddudley is probably not convinced a tandem of Legace / Moose will be good for the long haul.