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Discussion Starter #1
TSN.ca Staff
8/1/2006 5:39:06 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have agreed to terms on a multi-year deal with restricted free agent forward Maxim Afinogenov.

Afinogenov was scheduled for NHL arbitration Thursday, August 3, in Toronto.

Afinogenov, 26, led the Sabres in scoring last season with 73 points in 77 games, posting career highs in goals (22), assists (51) and points.

Afinogenov was also tops on the Sabres with 19 multi-point games. His 51 assists were the most in one season by a Sabres player since Pat LaFontaine had 51 in 1995-96.

"Max is one of the most exciting players in the NHL," said Regier. "We look forward to keeping him in Buffalo for years to come."

The 6 foot, 190 lb.-Afinogenov also picked up eight points (3+5) in 18 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Afinogenov was Buffalo's 3rd choice (69th overall) in the 1997 Entry Draft. He has scored 225 points (95+130) in 409 career games.
 

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The Sabres now have 16 players under contract for over $27M (not including Afinogenov). I guess they weren't in as bad a situation as was first thought.

I don't think Afinogenov will get too much, and if they sign Dumont then most of their best players will be back. I haven't heard anything about Miller yet though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think Afinogenov will get too much as well!!!!

It will definitely be interesting to see what he got!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
More Added To Release

Canadian Press
8/1/2006 7:08:07 PM

Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but it's anticipated that Afinogenov will receive a big raise over the $1.086 million US he made in leading the Sabres with a career-high 73 points last season. Afinogenov was scheduled to have his hearing Thursday.

"Max is one of the most exciting players in the NHL," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said. "We look forward to keeping him in Buffalo for years to come."

Buffalo WGR-Radio reported Afinogenov's contract was for three years.

Afinogenov's agent, Don Meehan, did not immediately return messages.

Always among the NHL's fastest skaters, the six-year veteran blossomed into a scoring threat, producing 22 goals - including three game-winners and 11 on the power play - and 51 assists in 77 games. Afinogenov more than doubled his production (17 goals, 14 assists) from his previous NHL season, and eclipsed his previous career high (21 goals, 19 assists) in 2001-02.

His 51 assists were the most in one season by a Buffalo player since Pat LaFontaine had that many in 1995-96.

Afinogenov's production was slowed in Buffalo's extended playoff run, managing just three goals and five assists in 18 games. His performance appeared affected by the loss of play-making centre Tim Connolly, who missed the final 10 playoff games with a concussion.

Buffalo has one more player scheduled for arbitration, fourth-line forward Adam Mair, who made $450,000 last season. Mair's hearing is scheduled Friday.

The Sabres feared Afinogenov's arbitration award would continue to throw their pay-scale out of whack after co-captain Daniel Briere received a team-high $5 million contract in arbitration two weeks ago.

Buffalo, among the NHL's surprise teams last year, reached the Eastern Conference final with a relatively modest $29 million payroll - about $10 million under the salary cap. The Sabres were eliminated in a Game 7 loss to eventual Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes.

Although Regier is budgeting for a payroll increase, the team is already at about $31 million prior to Afinogenov's signing. This year's salary cap has risen to $44 million.

The team is also awaiting an arbitration award after forward J.P. Dumont had his hearing on Monday. Buffalo has also yet to re-sign two key restricted free agents, starting goaltender Ryan Miller, who's is coming off a 30-win season, and defenceman Dmitri Kalinin.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
This is what they will be paying him this year - $3 million [Signed a three-year, $10 million deal]

What do you guys think? I was thinking along the lines of maybe 2M, but not 3M????
 

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A bit quick if you ask me. $10M over 3 years and he hasn't had the season he had last year consistenly over his career (be it not so long), but it could have been much worse. He didn't get $4M ;) . We'll have to wait and see how this works out. I know that he plays hard every game and all (not many players buzz around the ice like he does), but he'll have to start burying more of the many chances that he seems to get/create for this to look pretty good.

Anyway, Buffalo suddenly looks like they'll make it under the cap quite well, and have some room to spare. They have to make a decision on Dumont for $2.9M.

What's their GM's name, Darcy Regier (SP?) or somethng like that? Well, if he makes it out of this off-season with most of the team in tact (which it looks like he'll do) then he's one of the best in the league if you ask me.

I didn't expect player's contracts to start rising so fast though, but Buffalo only has one FA who's gone to Arbitration left to sign, Adam Mair.
 
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