The Detroit Red Wings’ trade for Robby Fabbri this week probably isn’t the kind of move that can save a lost season, but it was an intriguing gamble for a team that is in desperate need of finding talent anywhere it can get it.
They had nothing to lose in the deal and might even catch lightning in a bottle and find a productive player that was simply in need of a fresh start.
Fabbri wasted no time in making an impact for his new team on Friday night, scoring a pair of goals in his debut to help lead the Red Wings to a 4-2 upset win over the division leading Boston Bruins.
Both goals came on the power play, with the second of the two goals going in the books as the game-winner.
Fabbri is an intriguing player because when he first arrived in the NHL he looked like he was on his way to becoming a really good player with top-six potential for the St. Louis Blues. But his career was nearly ruined by a series of crushing leg injuries that basically robbed him of three years of his development. He was back healthy this season and re-signed with the Blues as a restricted free agent on what amounted to a “prove it” one-year contract.
It became pretty obvious early on that he was not going to get much of a role on the defending Stanley Cup champions, and was traded this week for Jacob De La Rose.
It is a fresh start for Fabbri on a team where he will get a chance to play (and play a lot) and a worthwhile trade for the Red Wings. Worst case scenario is that he does not pan out, and all it cost them was a 24-year-old winger that they claimed on waivers a year ago and was barely playing this season. The best case scenario is Fabbri is able to stay healthy, returns to the form he showed earlier in his career, and gives a talent-starved Red Wings team a forward that might be able to contribute something.
It is only one game, but it was a very promising start on Friday.