Dear Sabres Management..
This is my official plea to the Buffalo Sabres front office--this team is too promising to not do anything about Maxim Afinogenov and Tim Connolly.
What am I talking about, you say? Get rid of them both. Like now.
Max has the same routine every game. Flash his wheels, fire poor shots, and make dumb passes that disrupt the flow either on the power play or while in the offensive zone.
Trade him for something--anything--and call up Michael Ryan or another deserving youngster.
I've watched Max for the past seven or eight seasons and it's always the same thing. If his hands could catch up to his feet, he'd be an extremely valuable commodity. I'm still waiting for that day to happen.
So before Max sinks his value even further, deal him to a team who buys that he could be potentially explosive. Get a young player or a mid-round pick for him and be done. He's no longer worth the headache and, hell, maybe he can end up in a system where he can really break loose.
As for Connolly, trading him isn't an option anymore. He was an under-performing player oozing with skill but he's been incredibly injury-prone the last few years, currently residing on the injured list as of today.
Before he headed that direction, he was busy sinking the power play. Which doesn't make sense because with his passing skills, he should be the ideal power play quarterback.
But his decision-making leaves so very much to be desired. Your average power play with Connolly manning the point goes something like this: the Sabres set up shop in the offensive zone, Connolly tries to get cute and makes a terrible pass, resulting in the puck being cleared. He then heads back to retrieve the puck, burning down ice and dancing through four guys before firing off a weak shot and watching the puck again get cleared.
He's so much more disappointing than anyone else because he has the talent to be an elite player in the NHL. But combined with his poor decision-making, he's so weak on his skates it's a wonder he doesn't just randomly fall down.
So cut him, trade him for next to nothing. Do something. He's taking up a roster spot and killing our power play.
Hopefully, it will be the wake up call they both need because lord knows they don't hear it in Buffalo.
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