I believe that Afinogenov would be a great pick up on free agency for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Give him a chance to bring in a veteran presence for the young top 6 forwards, since he is now in his Early 30s.
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He may have had a great season last year, but that could've been a fluke if you look at his stats the previous two seasons, where he didn't even mass a total combined 20 goals.
Therefore, you could probably sign him for 2-3 mill per season, for 2-3 years. Last year, he turned things around in Atlanta and his numbers wont be like his last two seasons in Buffalo, barring potentially getting injured. In addition, if he improves on his numbers from last year, that would be great production from a player for 2-3 million per season, he would also be a Top 6 forward in Toronto regardless.
Having played in Buffalo, he has seen how great leaf fans support their team. Some nights the leaf fans would outcheer the sabres fans in Buffalo most likely.
Even if Burke would just sign him to a one year deal it would help that first round pick sent to Boston in the Kessel Trade. Than Toronto could see if he could fit in and give the top 6 some experience, and it would help them in the short term, or even long term if he fully commits to Toronto, although doubtful.
If he ends up not being everything I believe he can be, well with the one year deal we can just let him go at Free Agency, and use the cap money elsewhere.
If we do end up getting him on the 2-3 year deal, and he doesn't work out than I'm sure we could find other teams that would be interested, assuming he doesn't plummet like Cheechoo did in Ottawa.
This is all just an idea, there is no sources out there saying that Burke is pursuing this player. I don't believe Burke would go for this, because Afinogenov is not a Burke style player, although this could be a good fit for Afinogenov, depending if he wants to and could handle the pressure of playing in Toronto. Your Thoughts?????
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