Potential Russian Connection?

COLOGNE, GERMANY - MAY 23: Maxim Afinogenov (L) of Russia and Miroslac Blatak (R) of Czech Republic battle for the puck during the IIHF World Championship gold medal match between Russia and Czech Republic at Lanxess Arena on May 23, 2010 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Much attention has been devoted over the past half season to the UFA market this year.  Names like Kovalchuk, Marleau, and Plekanec have all been tossed around as possible scoring forwards to aid what ails the Leafs - a lack of offensive production.


The Leafs do also have some RFAs to re-sign, but assuming they can keep Nikolai Kulemin in the fold I have a suggestion/solution for everyone's consideration.

Maxim Afinogenov

He's only 30 years old, he's been a fairly consistent 20 goal scorer over the course of his NHL career, and he'd provide a decent 2nd line scoring option to play alongside Mikhail Grabovski and Kulemin if the Leafs went with that trio in support of the likes of Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel, and Viktor Stalberg.

The main reason I contemplated this is the play of Afinogenov and Kulemin together on a line for the Russian Men's team at this year's LG Hockey Games, and the IIHF World Championships.  Afinogenov registered 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points in 9 games at the World Championships, and he registered 61 points this past season with the Atlanta Thrashers.  The Thrashers took a one year flyer on him, paying him $800,000 to see if he could resurrect his career away from Buffalo, where he had played his entire NHL career.

Given the fact that his production shot back up playing alongside Nik Antropov and Ilya Kovalchuk, his 61 points should be taken with a grain of salt, but he would definitely increase the skill level up front for the Leafs, and give them a legit power play threat that would attract some attention away from the likes of Phil Kessel.  I would be surprised if he cost the Leafs more than $3 million a year on a 2 or 3 year deal.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the idea below.

In This Article

Teams
Players
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker