On Nov. 6, 2019, after the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-2, the Blues announced that they had traded forward Robby Fabbri to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Jacob de La Rose.
At the time, Fabbri was not making the lineup every night for the Blues. It wasn’t feasible for him to at that point with how much depth the Blues had offensively. But in Detroit, it seemed like he would be able to play on the first or second line.
As much as Blues fans loved him, they wanted him to be able to play consistently. He needed to if he wanted to have a long and healthy NHL career after two knee injuries sidelined him and made him a fraction of the player he used to be.
Getting anything for a player that no one was sure was going to be able to be his old self again after his two injuries was a win for the Blues. So, did anyone really win the trade?
Last season was the second best of Robby Fabbri’s career offensively. He scored 15 goals and added 17 assists for 32 points in 61 games. That is only second to his 18 goals and 19 assists for 37 points in 72 games that he tallied in his rookie season in 2015-16.
Last season, he averaged more ice time than he had ever before in his career with 16:09 even with the little ice time he got in the nine games he played for the Blues. He even scored two goals in his Detroit debut. Fabbri proved last season that he is still capable of being able to play in the NHL every night. He earned a two-year, $5.9 million contract extension with the Red Wings.
Being traded to a team where he was able to play consistently was the best thing for Fabbri. It was nice that the Blues seemed to know that and traded him when they knew they didn’t have a consistent spot in the lineup for him. So far, the trade has definitely benefited Fabbri.
Jacob de La Rose
All that being said, de La Rose didn’t produce as much as Fabbri. That was to be expected considering he could not earn as high of a spot in the lineup in St. Louis as Fabbri did in Detroit for the same reason Fabbri didn’t make the lineup every night.
De La Rose scored two goals and added seven assists for nine points in 50 games with the Red Wings and Blues. He only averaged 10:43 of ice time. But, he had 122 hits in those 50 games. He also played five games in the playoffs and averaged 9:35 of ice time with no points. He added 17 hits in those five playoff games.
The Blues re-signed him to a one-year, $700,000 extension. But with the Blues’ signing of fellow left wing Kyle Clifford, there’s no telling at this point how much de La Rose will play next year. He provides depth for the inevitable injuries and if anyone needs a night off.
While a little over a year later, it seems like the Red Wings and Robby Fabbri were the clear winners of the trade. Keep in mind that the Blues simply couldn’t give Fabbri what he needed. He would not have produced as much as he did for the Red Wings as a member of the Blues last season.
There wasn’t permanent room for him. The Blues traded him somewhere where he could get play a lot and consistently. They didn’t just let him walk for nothing. They got de La Rose, who while not putting up a lot of points, is physical and a decent fourth liner. The trade has seemingly worked out for everyone at this point.