Red Wings: Robby Fabbri’s new two-year extension great for organization

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings wisely agreed to terms on a new contract with forward Robby Fabbri on Monday.

It is a deal that comes as no surprise, but it’s nice to put pen-to-paper officially.  The Detroit Red Wings chose to sign forward Robby Fabbri, a pending restricted free agent (RFA), to a new two-year deal worth $5.9 million.  It’s a good deal for both parties involved.

In a way, paying a young forward with 20-goal potential a touch less than $3 million per season for the next two seasons is a nice bridge-deal leaving a chance for Fabbri to solidify himself as a top-nine or even top-six NHL forward before cashing in on his next deal.  It’s also a low-risk commitment for the Red Wings, understanding maybe Fabbri has plateaued, and his new price-point remains accurate for years to come.

General manager Steve Yzerman mainly acquired the young forward for free from the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues early on last season.  The Detroit Red Wings sent fourth-line forward Jacob de La Rose to the Blues in exchange for Fabbri.  Former Red Wings GM Ken Holland initially landed de La Rose off of waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.  Looking at it that way, Yzerman flipped a grinding fourth-line center for a scoring top-nine forward.

More from Detroit Jock City

With the Blues last season, Fabbri struggled to find a consistent role.  General Manager Doug Armstrong promised the young forward that if the team couldn’t find a spot for his services among the top three lines, they’d seek a trade to a place where he’d play in a scoring role; a lackluster Red Wings lineup was just perfect.  Also, Fabbri played minor hockey with Dylan Larkin leaving Detroit; hopefully, the two could rekindle some chemistry.

Fabbri recorded 15 goals, added 17 helpers totaling 32 points in 61 games last season.  He also produced a Corsi For Percentage of 46.2%, below where we’d like to see it, but when you consider how bad the Red Wings were as a whole last season, things could have been worse.  The young forward averaged just over 17 minutes of ice-time per night in Detroit, by far his career-high.

The Detroit Red Wings did some experimenting last season with Fabbri playing as a centerman, but his lack of success in the faceoff circle may limit his usage to the wing unless he can vastly improve in the dot in 2020.  Fabbri only successfully won 39.4% of his faceoff opportunities last season.

It just goes to show you how bad the Red Wings are down the middle of their lineup.  It’s an organization that had been as deep as anyone in the league down the middle since 1990, but after Dylan Larkin, things are very bleak.  Both Valtteri Filppula and Frans Nielsen have seen better days, and both Luke Glendening and Christoffer Ehn are firmly fourth liners.

dark. Next. Passing on Quinn Hughes a huge swing and miss

The Red Wings are either going to be forced to sign a free agent center this offseason or maybe trade for one unless they are confident Fabbri can handle the second line center duties moving forward. Or perhaps just until Joe Veleno or Michael Rasmussen emerge as regulars in the Detroit’s lineup.