I know what you’re thinking: What in the world is Max doing next to those two? There’s no way Maxim Afinogenov is up there with Ilya Kovalchuck and Eric Staal in terms of star power, but there he is listed as one of the NHL’s “offensive stars who need to start picking up the pace” on the hockey homepage of Yahoo Sports.
Now, it’s true he needs to pick up the pace. One goal on the season is awful, and he’s been a mess for most of the past two years. However, does he really have that big a reputation across the league, or is it just an decent angle for the story?
Looking at the video it seems like the decision was between Modin and Max, so maybe that’s why Afinogenov got the top billing. Still, with a player that’s obviously on the trade market you have to wonder what people outside of Buffalo think of him. The rumors we’re heard say he’s not that big a ticket, and I completely believe that. Perhaps it’s making something out of nothing, but when you see a guy all the time and know how frustrating his game is you may value him a bit less than others. Perhaps outsiders see the potential he has and not the struggles, which makes him more enticing.
If that’s the case then the Sabres are fortunate. Someone somewhere down the line may want to take a chance and we can open a roster spot for someone who will produce. I still say Max will go elsewhere and be and thrive, but his relationship with Lindy Ruff and the $3.5 million contract has killed almost all of his use here in Buffalo.
Again it may be nothing, but it’s interesting to see him there with two of the league’s best. Anyone else have some theories?