Even with terrible news such as Robby Fabbri being ruled out for the entire 2017-18 season by the St. Louis Blues, there can, conceivably, be a silver lining.
Or maybe it’s more like a gray-haired lining?
Blues GM Doug Armstrong admitted that the team has at least discussed the possibility of signing inexplicable* free agent Jaromir Jagr, though he provided himself plenty of wiggle room not to.
Blues fans can chime in here, but on paper, it seems like St. Louis might be able to find veteran/slower linemates who might make sense with Jagr.
Generally speaking, the Blues were a bruising team that still tried to significantly out-chance opponents under Ken Hitchcock. In a small sample size under Mike Yeo, they didn’t necessarily evoke the Pittsburgh Penguins’ attacking style in 2016-17, either.
The question is: would Yeo believe that Jagr could fit in to what he wants to do in 2017-18? With all of those injuries, there are at least seems to be some daylight for Jagr to assume the sort of role he likely craves: decent time on the power play, possibly some quality linemates. If nothing else, a Paul Stastny – Jagr combo would probably be dynamite for puck possession.
Actually, there’s one other question: money.
Cap Friendly pegs the Blues’ current cap space at $2.2 million. The final year of Fabbri’s rookie deal means he was carrying a cap hit just under $900K while Zach Sanford comes in at $875K. If Alex Steen and Jay Bouwmeester go on IR even for a limited time, that would open up a ton of money, temporarily.
In other words, they could probably squeeze Jagr in, though it could be a little tight. Most of us can agree that Jagr is probably worth the headache, and the Blues might just agree strongly enough to give the legend a contract.
* – OK, there are some hangups that make his free agent status possible to explain, but the consensus is that Jagr still deserves a chance.