On Saturday we made fun of J.P. Losman’s change of scenery, but two more Buffalo sports personalities have landed in new places.
Maxim Afinogenov landed a tryout with the Thrashers a few weeks ago, and yesterday he got a one year, $800,000 deal with Atlanta. It’s a low-risk, low-cost contract that’s good for both parties. Atlanta is a team with few expectations and can use a player like Afinogenov, and Max was in dire need of a change of scenery.
Afinogenov’s time in Buffalo had been rocky and the end of the line is clear, but his time in the NHL might not be over just yet. I wouldn’t be shocked if he had a decent year and earned himself another contract; but I’m certainly okay with it happening on another team.
The same goes for Andrew Peters, who signed a two-year deal with the Devils a few days ago. For as often as we complained about Peters, he certainly represents a unique time in Sabres history. He will forever be known as the “replacement” for Rob Ray, a role he never could really live up to.
Still, Peters was a fan favorite and had a special place in a lot of hearts.
In another disappointing off season as a Sabres fan, the departure of two fan favorites might end up being the biggest story. Few will argue for their retention, but watching Peters and Afinogenov walk away brings another era of Sabres hockey to a close. Blue and gold moved to black and red, but those colors are all but gone now. It’s not bad, just different, and different always takes some time getting used to.
The Sabres are hoping that losing Afinogenov and Peters will be addition by subtraction. We in the Roost aren’t so sure, but we wish them both the best of luck.