The Buffalo Sabres have a really cool new addition to First Niagara Center called Alumni Plaza, which in keeping with the traditions of Pegulaville honors the Sabres' greatest hockey legends. It includes a "mural of all-time greats that extends across the walking bridge above the plaza," according to the Buffalo News.
Legends like Maxim Afinogenov.
Yes, Maxim Afinogenov, that riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a puzzle wrapped in moments of offensive brilliance wrapped in questionable injuries. He made the cut. According to John Vogl of the Buffalo News, Dale Hawerchuk, Miroslav Satan, Don Luce and Rob Ray did not.
Dale … Hawerchuk. Let that sink in.
On one hand, there's a case to be made for Afinogenov. He spent nine seasons with the Sabres. He ranks 18th in team scoring with 334 points, including 200 assists. He was popular among fans, with his jersey ranking among the league leaders in sales during the rush to the registers from 2005 to 2007.
Then again, Afinogenov's time in Buffalo is almost equally as notable for the down times. He slumped while refusing to play a team game. He suffered mysterious concussions. He was run out of town after totaling only 16 goals during his last two seasons.
Determining who should or should not be on an alumni monument is akin to the "ring of honor" and retired number debates: Non-Sabres fans can parachute in, be all "what the what?" and get slack-jawed over a perceived snub.
So we'll leave it to the Sabres fans in the readership: Do you want Maxim Afinogenov on that wall? Do you need Maxim Afinogenov on that wall?