A fairly innocuous observation between Eric and myself on the last Instigator Podcast has suddenly become a big story in hockey circles. Maybe if there was hockey being played this wouldn’t even matter. But since this ridiculous lockout continues, Max Afinogenov’s inclusion on the Alumni Plaza mural is a story.To offer a recap, Afinogenov was included on a photo mural of former Sabres that adorns the walkway in the newly anointed Alumni Plaza. The decision to cover the walkway with former Sabres was not only a decision likely forced by the lockout (and inability to use current players for promotions) and the convenient fact that the creation of the Plaza would make the black and white headshot mural quite out of place. For what it’s worth, the team picture mural concept was getting old fast and I commend the Sabres for having a new option that they can renew each season, if they so choose.
Afinogenov is one of the last players pictured and is sandwiched between Chris Drury, Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller. Both Drury and Afinogenov are featured in “slug” jerseys and tie together the current era of team history on the mural. The question surrounding Afinogenov’s inclusion asks not only how deserving he is of the honor and how many other Sabre greats were passed over for him. Continue reading