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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
(Editor's Note: Maxim Afinogenov has been with the Buffalo Sabres since 1999, longer than any other player on the roster. In his time with Buffalo he has tallied 286 points (118+168) in 465 career games. Missing 21 games in 2006-07 with a broken wrist, Afinogenov still managed to attain 61 points (23+38) and was ranked sixth on the team in scoring. He sat down with to talk about his career with the Sabres, what it was like to play in the Olympics and some interesting superstitions.)

How was your summer?

MA: Summer was good, but real short. It was pretty exciting, I traveled a lot this year and visited some countries in Europe. It was pretty fun.

Who was your biggest on-ice influence growing up?

MA: I don't know, Wayne Gretzky... I loved watching him when he used to play... he was one of the best players.

\Who is your biggest off-ice influence?

MA: My parents and my friends. I always get support from them and the people around me.

Who do you try to imitate your game after?

MA: I just try to be myself.

What is your proudest hockey moment?

MA: Probably when we went to the playoffs and almost reached the finals. It was very good. And when I was in the Olympics, that was pretty exciting too.

Talk about the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and what that felt like for you winning the bronze medal for Russia.

MA: The Olympics is already exciting when you go to there. The whole atmosphere is amazing. It is pretty nice to be playing and representing your country. The Olympic atmosphere is just different... It is very nice.

What is your most embarrassing hockey moment?

MA: I think we were playing against Atlanta.  Somebody came up and threw me off the boards.  I ended up landing upside down on the bench. 

You have been a part of the Buffalo Sabres longer than any other player in the locker room. What has changed in the time that you have been here?

MA: It has changed a lot. The first thing is everybody and the new faces on the team. I think we changed our style of the game too a lot.  We improved a lot also.

What is your strangest superstition?

MA: I'm not really superstitious, but maybe I just put my right skate first all the time.

What is the weirdest superstition that you have seen?

MA: I've seen one guy cut his hair every game a little bit because he was scoring the goals.

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