St. Louis Blues Need Robby Fabbri To Have Contract Year

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 2: Robby Fabbri
ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 2: Robby Fabbri /

The St. Louis Blues have been somewhat hit or miss getting good production out of guys in their contract year. They really need one particular young guy to earn his next deal this season.

The St. Louis Blues have a history of guys that came up big in their contract year. They also have seen plenty of players come through the doors that have not produced in that final season.

The Blues have to be hoping Robby Fabbri is going to fall into that first group. They need him to fully earn his next contract, perhaps more than any other player in recent memory.

Right now, Fabbri is still in that tweener phase where he is full of exciting potential, but does have the possibility that he will not pan out. Fabbri has been an exciting talent, but the question is will he be what we want of him.

Fabbri came out on fire and took the league by storm with 18 goals and 37 points in his rookie campaign. He only had 11 and 29 the following season, but was injured for most of the year with an ACL tear.

If I did the math right, which is in question, if you extrapolate his numbers out over time, he might have had 50-plus points last season. That’s a big if though.

Fabbri has the talent and the drive, of that there is no doubt. The issue is whether he can sustain it over an entire season or not.

It is one thing to do it in a rookie year, when nobody knows to gameplan for you. We saw Fabbri struggle out of the gate in 2016-17 when teams actually knew they had to defend him though.

The Blues need him to really earn his next contract with a big year this season. Fabbri is entering the final year of his entry-level contract.

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St. Louis is currently paying him a cap hit of $895k, with the contract actually north of $1 million. Whether it is in St. Louis or somewhere, that number is going to take a significant jump next season.

The Blues would like it to be with them. They would also like to know it won’t fall into that category of rewarding a player on potential alone.

The problem with Fabbri this season is there is too much unknown. Is he going to be a winger on in the center? Can he hold up for an entire 82 games? Will he become a top-tier scorer or just a 10-15 goal guy who averages around 35 points or so?

If St. Louis is going to give him some big money, they need him to be a consistent 40-50-plus point scorer. 20-plus goals has to be expected as well.

Most fans love Alexander Steen for his drive and effort. The optics did not look good when Steen had a disappointing offensive year after signing a new deal though. It would be nice to avoid that with Fabbri if he can really earn it by having a big contract season.

It might be annoying by now, but the reason I keep using the phrase earn it, is because Fabbri is not quite on the level of someone like Colton Parayko. You pretty much knew the Blues would have to pay Parayko just because of his size and hands. The offense was a bonus.

Fabbri doesn’t bring great size and his skill level is comparable to a lot of guys. Does anyone want to lose him? Not at all, but he might be more replaceable in the free agent market.

Next: Alexander Steen Must Regain Scoring Touch

The ideal situation this season would be to have Fabbri score about 25 goals and somewhere around 55 points. That might be on the high end, but for me that would justify giving him a significant raise.

The bonus with Fabbri is you can always work out a two or three-year deal and he is still young enough for him to keep striving to earn that big-money deal on the next one. It all boils down to production this year.

St. Louis is in a spot where they have enough potential in the wings. They need to know what Fabbri is for sure. They cannot afford another big deal and then have someone fizzle out.

I do believe Fabbri is the talent we see in him. I think, if healthy, he will have a good contract season. The Blues need that to happen since their division is going to be extremely tough.