Robby Fabbri has 6 points in 5 games since he was acquired by the Detroit Red Wings.
The 23-year-old is playing the wing on Detroit’s second line, centered by veteran Valtteri Filppula with speedster Andreas Athanasiou on the other wing.
Fabbri’s addition has given the Red Wings two legitimate scoring lines as he flashes superb playmaking ability at high speeds, and he’s costing the team very little. Over the summer he had signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues worth just $900,000. He becomes a restricted free agent at the end of this season. The Red Wings have options with him.
Yzerman the genius?
This is what Steve Yzerman is known for doing. The new Red Wings general manager has made a front office career out of seeing value where others might miss it. Yzerman took a chance on Fabbri, a kid who needed a fresh start after debilitating injuries derailed his young career, and it is paying off right now.
This type of management may not always work out -- the verdict is still undecided about Brendan Perlini -- but it’s really refreshing to see the Red Wings management in a position to make these kinds of adjustments to the roster mid-season.
Red Wings fans witnessed his special Hall of Fame career on the ice, but Yzerman’s true genius might be happening right now.
Should we expect more?
The Red Wings are returning home from a western road trip in which they grabbed 4 of a possible 6 points. They are now 4-4-2 in their past 10 games. Their competition level has been noticeably better. Adding fresh faces to a lineup that’s been through one of the worst losing stretches in franchise history can go quite a long way, as long as they’re the right faces. The question now is should we expect any more moves like this?
The Red Wings have a dozen contracts coming off the books after this season. That includes veterans Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson, Alex Biega, Jimmy Howard and Trevor Daley. As we’ve all pointed out, Yzerman doesn’t really have to do anything until this season ends. It’s the fact that he’s not resting, not waiting and constantly looking for ways to make the on-ice product better right now that sets him apart. That’s why you can’t be surprised if more moves follow sooner than later when you have a GM with his finger on the pulse of the league.
Yzerman knows how quickly circumstances can change for NHL teams and what kind of tools are needed to help speed up the changes. He also knows the Red Wings’ group of young stars -- Dylan Larkin, Filip Hronek, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi -- aren’t getting any younger. They need help now, not just three years from now. There is no reason to think this can’t be a playoff team by next season.
The Red Wings return home this week for a game against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. They will make a quick trip at the end of this week to Columbus and New Jersery, then return home Sunday to host the Carolina Hurricanes. The Toronto Maple Leafs come to town on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
This is a stretch of games that you might consider a bit “easier,” but there really are no easy nights in this league right now.