It’s officially 2018 and a new section makes its debut on The Note Lives On. Welcome to Cap Mania, your monthly talk on player contracts and salary cap updates.
There are few players you should pull for more in the NHL than Robby Fabbri. Coming off back to back torn acl’s, the question of what Fabbri will have left in the tank won’t be answered until this coming September. The willingness to do anything for the club will of course be there, that we already know. But can Fabbri play at the NHL level on a nightly basis again remains to be seen. It’s the equivalent of seeing a mid season finale of your favorite show knowing afterwards you have to wait months to see its conclusion.
One has to wonder what a line with Brayden Schenn and Robby Fabbri on it could have done? Add in a Jaden Schwartz and you just may have a fantasy hockey lines dream. Currently the 21 year old makes $894, 167 and is an RFA this coming summer. For those curious, there was a 425, 000 performance clause in his contract this season, not that he could have cashed in on it this season. This was up from the previous year, in which it sat at 212, 500.
The forward did put up 29 points in 51 games last season, 11 coming by the way of goal. He’s seen his time at the center position as well, though the Blues have added more depth down the middle this season. Success hasn’t always been down the middle of the ice this year but when Fabbri does return to the Blues putting him on the wing seems like more fitting role.
You only have to be a casual Blues fan to know that the team is currently putting feelers out to the rest of the league on finding the “missing piece” to the puzzle. That one move that finally pushes the Blues to a cup final for the first time since 1970. Could a player like Fabbri be apart of a package deal for someone like a say…Mike Hoffman? For any team to take on a player with his recent injury history is taking a risk but when you look at things in the short term, a “prove me something” contract shouldn’t be too taxing.
So what’s an overpayment on a player in this situation? For the Blues this coming summers contract season very well could be a wild one. It’ll either be filled with hefty contracts that could put the club in a bind in a few years or you’ll see less familiar faces in 2018-19. Some of the players up for a new deal not including Fabbri are five UFAS: Paul Stastny, Kyle Brodziak, Scottie Upshall, Magnus Paajarvi, and Carter Hutton. This also doesn’t include other RFAs on the main club in: Joel Edmundson, Oskar Sundqvist, and Dmitrij Jaskin. The restricted free agents don’t have as much of a say in their pay as the unrestricted players do but at least in Edmundson’s case, a good size deal is on the way.
Switching things back to Fabbri a fair deal for both sides would be a one year contract for next season. If you forced me to take a stance on the money(which is often a crapshoot) the contract would likely sit around a million or less. Perhaps a performance bonus thrown in, the past two seasons had one included so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. If the term is a mil or less that allows the Blues to take a risk on a player who has shown plenty of promise in the past and if the elite ability just isn’t there, it wouldn’t be a hard contract to move.
Of course a one year deal is just a short term solution but that’s the life of running a team. Putting the big contracts on hold until that situation is forced, well maybe not forced but delayed as long as possible. A healthy Fabbri can contribute a ton to the St. Louis Blues and I’m not talking about his new hat line in the team shop. Fabbri has played 123 games in the worlds best hockey league with 66 points to his name, he’s earned himself a chance to prove his worth.