The St. Louis Blues have brought back another one of their restricted free agent forwards, re-signing Robby Fabbri to a one-year, $900K contract. Fabbri was not eligible for salary arbitration and will still be a restricted free agent at the end of this deal.
It wasn’t so long ago that Fabbri was one of the brightest young forwards in the NHL, poised to have a great career with the Blues after a rookie season that saw him score 18 goals in the regular season and star in a long playoff run. At just 20 years old he had 15 points in 20 playoff games and started the 2016-17 season well with 29 points in 51 games before a knee injury turned his whole career upside down. Fabbri would suffer a setback and miss the entire 2017-18 season, only to finally return to the Blues’ lineup last November.
By then, things had changed for St. Louis and for the young forward. In 32 games in 2018-19 Fabbri was only able to register six points, often playing a depth role and receiving an average of just 12:39 of ice time. In the playoffs that dropped even further to the point where if he wasn’t in the press box watching as a scratch, he was seeing just over eight minutes a night. Fabbri registered just a single point in ten postseason games, though the Blues went all the way to a Stanley Cup victory.
Now, with other young players pushing for more and more playing time it is unclear where Fabbri sits on the St. Louis depth chart. The team still has basically the entire core that took them to the promised land this year (save for hometown hero Pat Maroon, who remains a free agent) and more forwards like Jordan Kyrou, Dominik Bokk and Klim Kostin all on their way. Fabbri, 23, is obviously still young enough to get back on that star track, but it will take a lot of work and some opportunity that might not be available in St. Louis.