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'Excited to be here': Robby Fabbri looks forward to fresh start with Red Wings

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit – Robby Fabbri is looking at this opportunity with the Detroit Red Wings much the same away as when he was drafted by St. Louis in 2014.

It’s a fresh start, a new beginning. 

“The same mindset,” said Fabbri, who skated with the Wings for the first time Friday morning and was to be in the lineup against the Boston Bruins. “I’m coming in here wanting to make an impact and contribute right away.”

Detroit center Robby Fabbri takes a shift in the first period. It was Fabbri's first game as a Red Wing and he scored two goals.

Fabbri, the Blues’ first-round pick that year (21st overall), was traded to the Wings Wednesday for Jacob de la Rose.

Fabbri was slated to be on a wing Friday along with Andreas Athanasiou, on a line centered by Valtteri Filppula.

“I’m excited to be here,” Fabbri said. “I’m going to come in and do what I can do, and do what I can to help this team and contribute right away.”

The Wings are excited about the potential Fabbri has, and the low-risk gamble he presents.

Fabbri, 23, only played in nine games with the Blues this season, with one point (a goal), while averaging close to 10 minutes per game.

But Fabbri was an 18-goal scorer his rookie season (2015-16) in St. Louis, and had 15 points in 20 playoff games that season.

Then came back-to-back torn ACL surgeries, which caused Fabbri to miss one complete season, and he’s been slowly trying to get back to his pre-knee surgery days.

“I’m past those,” Fabbri said. “Those were a couple of years ago now. I feel great now. When I’m playing, I feel good.”

Coach Jeff Blashill mentioned Friday how the Wings’ organization has always been high on Fabbri going back to the 2014 NHL Draft.

“I know we were high on Robby when he was being drafted, just from talking to our scouts back then,” Blashill said. “We’ve been high on him at different times, listening to our pro scouts in our meetings. We’re hoping that we can get Robby back to speed, like when he first came into the league.”

Fabbri’s offensive capabilities, and the variety of ways he might be able to help offensively, stand out for Blashill.

“He’s been very good on the power play,” said Blashill, talking about how Fabbri and Paul Stasny worked well together in St. Louis. “He did a real good job there. He definitely has an skill set to be good on the power play.

"He's a smaller guy but he plays very hard and he has to get back to playing that way. When you’ve been hurt with the massive injuries he’s been hit with, you can be a little cautious, and it takes a little bit of time to get away from that. I’m hoping he can get back to playing as hard as he has in the past.

“He can give you scoring depth.”

Glendening mending

Luke Glendening (hand injury) has missed the last eight games but has begun the process to returning.

Glendening, who last played Oct. 23 in Ottawa, took part in Friday’s morning skate, although a return to game action might be another couple weeks away.

“It’s good to get back on the ice, for sure,” said Glendening, who injured his hand blocking a shot. “I’ve been skating the entire week, trying to move it in the right direction.”

Glendening knew something was wrong as soon as he blocked the shot in Ottawa.

“You have that feeling and you know it right away,” Glendening said. “But it’s part of the job and part of the territory.”

It’s always difficult for any player to watch, and not play, but doubly difficult when the team is losing as much as the Wings have been lately.

“I feel for the guys,” Glendening said. “I know they’re competing and I know you don’t get to this level without a desire to win and be the best.

“I try to be supportive as much as I can but I’m not out there, so I’m trying to be a good teammate and I know it’s frustrating, and they get tired of answering the same questions about what has gone wrong and what needs to be fixed, but they’ll continue to work until we get out of this.”

Ice chips

Defensemen Mike Green (illness) took part in the morning skate and was slated to return to the lineup after missing the last three games.

… The Wings were taking part in the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer Night Friday, including wearing a commemorative jersey for warmups.


Twitter: @tkulfan