Updated: Thrashers, Afinogenov not close on new deal

Maxim Afinogenov is not close to re-signing with the Thrashers, according to his agent.

Don Meehan said Monday that after reviewing the one-year contract offer made by the Thrashers several weeks ago, he and Afinogenov “don’t agree at this point in time” with the terms offered by the team. Afinogenov, who tied for the team lead in goals last season (not including Ilya Kovalchuk), will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“Where we go from here, I’m not sure,” Meehan said.

Meehan did not rule out Afinogenov returning to the Thrashers, but said a deal was not close.  He said it was possible that he would meet with Thrashers officials at the NHL Draft, which will be held June 25-26 in Los Angeles. Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said last week that all the players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents have been made offers that are in line with what the organization is willing to pay.

Meehan said the status of contract talks between his client Colby Armstrong and the Thrashers remains unchanged. After initial contract talks, the sides remain far apart on terms of a new deal. It appears that Armstrong will test the free-agent market come July 1.

There is a report out of Sweden that the Thrashers have signed winger Fredrick Pettersson of the Swedish Elite League. He has not been signed, that much I know for sure. The Thrashers have spoken to his agent, so there is some interest, but at this point nothing has been completed. I will continue to check on this and update as appropriate.

68 comments Add your comment

Lee

June 14th, 2010
10:20 am

First time being first!!!!

Finny better stay, hopefully the deal will get done.

fes

June 14th, 2010
10:21 am

It sounds like they aren’t offering Max too much money, as many of us feared. Good. I’d welcome him back at a reasonable price, but overpaying for him is not an option.

Matt

June 14th, 2010
10:35 am

My God, can the Thrashers keep ANYONE here when their contract expires? What a pathetic organization. I swear, nobody wants to play here… but hey, at least we’ve drafted well… oh wait. Never mind. Pathetic.

J.B.

June 14th, 2010
10:36 am

would really like to have him back as i enjoyed max on the team this past season alot but it probably is a mistake to overpay him to do so.

Andrew

June 14th, 2010
10:39 am

I think Max going elsewhere could be a blessing in disguise. There’s no reason, based on history, to pay him based on the numbers he put up last season. There is too high of a probability that he will faulter next year or get hurt again. His career has been too much of a rollercoaster for the Thrashers (especially considering their low payroll) to invest a significant amount of money and contract years on such uncertainty.

If Atlanta goes out and snags a top 6 forward in free agency or via trade, I’d be perfectly ok with Afinogenov going elsewhere. I’d feel a lot better about a guy like Ponikarovsky instead of Max.

Poni-Antropov-Little
Kane-Peverley-Bergfors

I can live with that top six.

TableHockey

June 14th, 2010
10:40 am

Unfortunate but Max is probably looking for his final contract which I doubt fits in with Dudley’s plan for building this team.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
10:41 am

Rick Dudley said last week that all the players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents have been made offers that are in line with what the organization is willing to pay.

If that’s the case, the organization appears to have gone cheap again as only one UFA has re-signed. I guess that means Kubina is gone as well.

Dudley…strike one.

Not Blind

June 14th, 2010
10:46 am

Not worth what he wants. Bring up a young guy.

Andrew

June 14th, 2010
10:46 am

I think that the Thrashers’ defense, assuming our new coach revamps our system, is going to be the best in franchise history and help carry this team more than we’ve ever seen. Enstrom and Oduya are rocks. Hainsey is better when he plays with a defensively responsible partner. Bogosian is going to break out this season and shatter team records. Kulda will be in the NHL and he will be a great third pairing defenseman. Even with a modest top six, the I do believe this team is going to do just fine.

joedaiceman

June 14th, 2010
10:46 am

Spot on Andrew. Plus – there are plenty of good forwards on the market this year, no reason to overpay for Max. Although I love to watch him play I could get more excited about a Ladd, Bolland or Vesteeg.

TableHockey

June 14th, 2010
10:49 am

joedaiceman – agreed on Ladd. There are about 5 players I would be happy snagging any of from the Blackhawks

Lee

June 14th, 2010
10:54 am

Max deserves a good amount of money. With the Sabres, he only scored 6 goals, when he was with us, he scored 24 goals.

drajax

June 14th, 2010
10:56 am

the team needs scorers. Max should be signed to at least a two year contract and given enough to keep him.

Lee

June 14th, 2010
10:56 am

5 players I’d be happy to snag from the Hawks: (I’d take the whole team but…)

Bolland
Bufylien
Kane (In my dreams…)
Toews (In my dreams…)
Ladd

Congrats to the 2010 Stanley Cup Winners!

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
10:57 am

Would it be too much to ask why we only offered 1 year to Max?

While there is much speculation that the one-year offer is just a starting point, it doesn’t seem like Meehan has countered with anything other than salary for that one year? I would assume Max is looking for a longer-term deal, but why aren’t the Thrashers interested in a 2 or 3 year deal for a player who seems to have plenty of life left in his legs? I’m not saying I expect Dudley to divulge a lot of details, but would it hurt to ask him why we don’t have any interest in a 2 year deal for less money per year (win-win for both sides presumably?).

Thanks for the update Chris, but this information isn’t really anything new at this point? Just hoping we could dig a little deeper.

Lee

June 14th, 2010
11:01 am

What about Torchetti? I hope we sign him soon, but I understand Dudley is giving it a good thought. Comparing to the other coaches that Dudley was thinking about, Torch seems like the best one.

No pressure Duds…

TableHockey

June 14th, 2010
11:07 am

Lee – I like that list though I would also add Sharp to it

Dwayne

June 14th, 2010
11:19 am

When it comes to info about the Thrashers, I feel like a mushroom…put me in the dark and feed me lots of sh!t.

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
11:38 am

Smoothie-I was expecting a longer deal myself. A bit disappointed, but maybe we have something else cooking.

Not Blind

June 14th, 2010
11:43 am

Max was -17 last year. He’s not worth what he is wanting. Too many of those minus points were the result of him freelancing and coughing up the puck.

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
12:03 pm

Not Blind – hard to say if his -17 was entirely his own doing. Recall that earlier in the year he had line-mates with whom he did not mesh very well at all — namely Todd White and Slava Kozlov. However, down the stretch, there were times he tried to do too much with the puck, but he did have 17 points in the last 25 games or so.

After the trade of Kovalchuk, Max was only a -2 if you take out the two horrible -3 games he had against NJ (no one played well in that game and the top line was on the ice for every NJ against) and in the 5 to 2 loss against WSH (game was meaningless after getting eliminated by NJ). I’m not saying he was infallible, hardly, but he seemed to be willing to work hard and even cycle the puck in the corners when a more free-lancing type of offensive rush wasn’t warranted.

I just don’t understand a 1-year offer and not at least 2. If he doesn’t factor enough in your plans to warrant a 2-year deal, then why a 1-year deal? Perhaps because we are going young this year at the expense of learning the kids so they’re better prepared to compete for the playoffs in 2011-12. If that’s the case, I’d rather they just go young and let it ride…FA forwards be damned.

gcs

June 14th, 2010
12:09 pm

Come on ASG. We fans don’t ask for much (since our expectations of you are so low). Make this happen!

.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
12:17 pm

For those of you suffering under the delusion that Dudley can replicate the success he had with the Blackhawks, you need to remember that the Blackhawks effectively had an ownership change when Wirtz Sr. passed and handed the reigns to his son Rocky. Rocky was willing to increase payroll to the payroll ceiling.

The ASG is still the same bunch of shoe string budget owners they have always been.

Lee

June 14th, 2010
12:23 pm

TableHockey – Definetly, I totally forgot about him.

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
12:29 pm

Stroz – so the $51-53 M (not sure how much of the bonuses for Bogo, Pavs and Kaner were earned / doled out) they spent last season is a “shoe-string” budget??

I understand the pessimism, until we see evidence to believe otherwise, but we have no inclination as to how much they are willing to spend this season. Now perhaps they will tender their RFA’s and pretty much leave it at that. But I will withhold judgment until mid-September before I bash them for icing a $42 M budget.

Thrashers27

June 14th, 2010
12:29 pm

Just looked up Fredrick Pettersson’s stats. Nothing breathtaking, but could have potential. He’s smallish…5′10″ 185lbs.

[...] that point, C-Viv is reporting that Max and the Thrashers are no where close to a deal. Furthermore, Dudley indicates that all [...]

MSR

June 14th, 2010
12:38 pm

It doesn’t take much to see how cheap and stupid the Thrashers are.

GaVaHokie

June 14th, 2010
12:39 pm

The Falconer has a great write-up on Pettersson… a must read.

http://www.birdwatchersanonymous.com/2010/6/14/1517046/thrashers-sign-frederik-pettersson

Thrashers27… keep in mind he’s only 22 years old, had two great years in Juniors before signing in the Swedish Elite (playing with grown men). Don’t let his size fool you… he’s a ‘banger’.

Jarndyce

June 14th, 2010
1:27 pm

I said it over at BWA, and I’ll say it here: Max likely wants security in the form of years, and the Thrashers can’t afford the risk of giving him that security. Signing him to anything more than a single year is risky, more the two years is just foolish.

GaVaHokie

June 14th, 2010
1:28 pm

Contract buy out window begins tomorrow, according to TSN.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=324612

Any candidates? (I have a feeling I know the answer already) :)

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution [...]

Sage of Bluesland

June 14th, 2010
2:05 pm

Wow…some think that tiny, little Toby Enstrom is a defensive “rock”…No wonder our defense is pitiful is my response, if you actually think that!

Wow…some also think all we have to do is “bring someone up!”…Yeah, that minors of ours is stocked to the gills with those “Legends of Blueland”…With our beyond-dubious record of talent evaluation and cultivation, who could question this not being the Stanley Cup answer to all our woes!

Wow.

(Yet, I do have faith that some have paid attention, as they have astutely pointed out that the ownership remains the same…Thank you…Everything else, including “Duds” plan, is peripheral to the biggest obstacle to real NHL success in Atlanta…)

J.K. Sockey

June 14th, 2010
2:06 pm

The only person interested in working for this organization is Ben Wright.

http://youtu.be/1TKnnTjeqGQ

Jameson

June 14th, 2010
2:14 pm

Hokie- Are you looking for a color or a neutral? :)

Hockey Steve

June 14th, 2010
2:19 pm

Max is a liability on defense. Duds is shifting the focus from an offensive minded team(you see where that’s gotten us so far) to a defensive minded team. While he’s still a valueable goal scorer, I don’t think the Thrashers should go out of their way to sign Mad Max. We can find forwards with similar scoring prowess who are also defensively responsible.

The Thrashers are going to be a very different team this next season.

Gwinnett Fred

June 14th, 2010
2:24 pm

Trade 1st round pick for Spezza!!!!

Joe Friday

June 14th, 2010
2:30 pm

Let me get this straight. The news is we’ve signed yet another undersized Swedish prospect and we also are going cheap with our top goal scorer? Seems to me that nothing has really changed, except the nameplate on Waddell’s desk.

Stat Man

June 14th, 2010
2:35 pm

Too much emphasis put on the +/- for players, that’s not really a true individual indicator, it’s VERY rare that any single player on the ice is responsible for a goal or goal allowed.

Stats for hockey are the most misleading in any sport as it’s such a team game. Best example I can give is the lone year we made the playoffs was Kovy’s WORST statistical year (76 points) of his last 6 – but the TEAM won.

Another point about the misleading “+/-” – just look at Kovy last year. He was a +1 here (ironically, his only season ever as a Thrasher he was a plus anything) and a +9 in New Jersey. I doubt he became a better player up there (in fact, averaged a point a game up there and was 1.2 per game here), just the fact he wasn’t counted on to MAKE things happen up there.

DWTOO

June 14th, 2010
2:39 pm

For those of who feel it’s OK to let Max walk I can see your point. The other school of thought is those of use who see this every year – we cannot keep our free agents and there is a litany of good players who walked from this club. And we’re just tired of it!

Will someone buy this club – please.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
3:05 pm

Smoothie – With all due respect, the Thrashers team payroll was 25th out of 30 teams and that stat is with Kane and Bogo’s FULL bonuses calculated into the overall payroll.

http://nhlnumbers.com/compare.php?season=0910

So yes, relative to the other teams’ payrolls, the ASG is operating on a “shoe string” budget. And based on Dudley’s quote above combined with the fact that only ONE UFA has re-signed, the ASG “cheap and hope for the best” business model appears to still be in place. These guys remind me of Einstein on a daily basis.

Being in the bottom 20% of team payrolls year after year isn’t a prescription for success, or FAN SUPPORT.

rob

June 14th, 2010
3:22 pm

This is kinda sad watching and listening to. We haven’t even DONE anything yet and half of you are ready to dump on the team already! There isn’t enough media coverage or people who will ask questions that would be nice to have answered for this nonsensical whining to start already. What are you gonna do when the team under new COACHES and a new captain, and hopefully an emerging identity, takes a while to gel and has a losing streak? How about watching and seeing what happens. Maybe there is a reason for this with Max? Most likely because he doesn’t work so well under a defensive reign, and last year was great for him because we had no defensive scheme. Maybe it’s just me, but I say how about thinking it past “we can’t keep anyone”, and look at who we have when the season starts. If we bring in/up a bunch of young kids with enthusiasm who take a season to come together, next season might very well be the same roller coaster ride this year was. Probably exactly what will happen, as Pavs strives to take the starting spot and has his ups and downs, and a young team looks for direction. I honestly don’t think Max is the right fit. I’d take him if the price was OK but Buffalo already showed he doesn’t do well in a limited role. I hope he does well for himself, he gave us some hope last year at a time when we needed it. I know it has to be hard watching this year in and year out, let’s see if this changes things for the better or not.

rob

June 14th, 2010
3:27 pm

The article by Falconer on Pettersson had a picture of him……..looked like a dam nascar driver with all of those advertisements on him!!! Crazy. That has to be a little disconcerting watching a game with 2 teams THAT full of ads skating around

Joe Friday

June 14th, 2010
3:31 pm

“let’s see if this changes things for the better or not.”

And if not, “there’s always next year!”

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
3:33 pm

rob is right…too much whining long before we know what happens with the new regime. I’m not saying we will be the next Chicago or even the next Colorado, but the blueprint has been rendered and several GM’s have admitted the NHL is becoming a youth-dominated league. We’ve got a lot of youth with a lot of upside potential and some players are yet to prove what they are capable of. Can we at least wait until July 10th before we start bitching and moaning about how little $$ we’ve spent?

Stat Man

June 14th, 2010
3:37 pm

Unfortunately, the current bitching & moaning that is going on is based on ownership history, which is all we have to go on for now, and since that history has been extremely consistent (cheap), I can’t fault folks for a lack of optimism.

The sad thing is to see how the NHL is EASILY the one sport a team can make a charge the fastest. The east finals were between the 7 & 8 seeds this year for God’s sake.

Get in, believe in yourself, and ride a hot streak – that’s all it takes and it can happen in hockey pretty darn fast and thanks to the Flyers for showing that this year!

Brendan

June 14th, 2010
3:41 pm

I’m fine with cutting Max loose, as long as the reason behind it was … that Dudley didn’t want him, for what his vision of the team will be. I can live with that. Truly, I can. Maybe Dudley wants to go younger and bigger than Max? If so, I don’t blame him for cutting bait with Finny. And truthfully, not trying to make ANY excuses for the organization, as there has been no suitable excuse for this organization for most of its history, Max has a tendency to disappear on a 3-year deal. But in a ‘contract year,’ Max is more motivated. I could have lived with a 2-year offer to Max, truly, so long as Max fit in with ‘the plans,’ moving forward. 3-years, and I’m not too sure. Look, honestly … and I always am honest … I just don’t think Dudley wants this guy back. But, for a one-year deal, for the right price, Dudley could be persuaded. Max and his agent would hear none of it, after the season he just had. And who can blame Meehand and Finny there??? Let them get the job security and UFA money they want in Free Agency. If Dudley honestly DID see Max Afinogenov as part of his ‘longterm strategy,’ I think the organization would have put forth a serious offer. Their offer, without having ever seen it, mind you, was probably a joke. My guess/feeling is, when Max saw the offer, his first thoughts were, “why only one year?” Then he answered his own question, “Because Atlanta doesn’t have faith in you that you’ll stay healthy and continue production at your 2009-10 level.”

And when a player sees an offer like that, he feels let-down. A one-year contract is an announcement that, “You’re not part of the plans, moving forward. Not really.” I’m sure that STUNG a bit for Max, who put forth his utmost effort this year. But hey, it’s not as if the guy doesn’t have “disappointing history” in the NHL. It’s not a blemish-free past there, for Finny.

To me, here’s the bottom line, folks. Dudley didn’t want this guy. Not enough. If he did, the offer would have been better. Who knows? Maybe Dudley does have some grand designs on a higher salaried player, at the draft, for a trade? I’m willing to postpone judgement on this Afinogenov move … until July 7th. By then, we’ll know what moves were made on Draft Day, and in the “frenzy.”

Telfo

June 14th, 2010
3:51 pm

Max and Kubina are nice players, but not irreplaceable or anything. I am fine either way.

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
4:09 pm

Keep in mind the Colorado Avalanche spent just a mere $1 M more than ATL last season and made the playoffs icing 15 players (perhaps more) at or under the age of 25. I counted 7 or 8 players whose first full season in the NHL was the 2009-10 campaign. Other than Duchene and Stastny, I don’t see anyone else on that roster who is far and away better than the collection of Kane, Bergfors, Little, C-Mac, Bogosian, Enstrom & Pavelec. I could be wrong, but the only way to see if these dogs will hunt is to let them loose for a full season. If we don’t start showing some patience with our young players and give them a chance to succeed, how are we going to convince any of the kids to stay when they turn 26 / 27?

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
4:15 pm

Smoothie – I get where you are coming from, however, I’ve heard this record before.

I’m getting older and more jaded by the year though.

Hope and Change are not a strategy, otherwise there would be a lot more wealthy lottery players.