Star-crossed forward Robby Fabbri should get every chance to finally relocate his offensive game with the woeful Detroit Red Wings.

That just wasn’t going to happen here. While Fabbri made a seemingly full recovery from his second major knee surgery, he couldn’t regain his old puck-hunting and play-driving form.

Fabbri, the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, offered mere glimpses of his old self. Remember when he scored 18 goals as a rookie?

He seemed destined for big things here. Then came one injury after another and his star faded.

Fabbri got one last chance to work his way onto one of the top three Blues lines this season and failed. That was disappointing, given this team’s need to add some speed to the forechecking game.

Perhaps Fabbri had checked out mentally, since he asked Blues general manager Doug Armstrong to trade him back in the summer.

Perhaps coach Craig Berube had given up on him, since Fabbri spent last season failing to work his way into the Chief’s rotation.

Whatever the case he was done here. With young veterans Mackenzie MacEachern and Sammy Blais making their most of their opportunities this season, Fabbri was stuck in the press box.

Vladimir Tarasenko’s shoulder injury didn’t change that. A serious-looking leg injury Alexander Steen suffered Wednesday night didn’t change it either because the Blues have elite forward prospects Klim Kostin and Jordan Kyrou knocking on the NHL door.

Both of those potential Top 6 forwards need to play for the Blues this season to keep their development on track.

Jacob de la Rose, acquired from the Red Wings for Fabbri, will get a chance to earn a depth role in the near term. He has size, speed and the ability to flourish in the fourth-line role that could open up if Ivan Barbashev or Oskar Sundqvist move up in the lineup again.

As for Fabbri, he could be part of the badly-needed Red Wings’ overhaul. New general manager Steve Yzerman must cycle out lots of useless veterans and upgrade his talent base with young talent.

Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanisiou and Tyler Bertuzzi provide a good starting point—but then Detroit’s talent falls off.

So Yzerman is working the phones. He added winger Brendan Perlini, the 12th overall pick in 2014, in an earlier trade with Chicago.

Both of these reclamation projects should get lots of ice time. The whole Blues organization is pulling for Fabbri to make the most of it.


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