The Wings traded center Jacob de la Rose to the Blues for Fabbri after Wednesday night's game in New York.
"We were high on Robby when he was being drafted, I know that from talking to our scouts back then," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I know we've been high on him at different times, listening to our pro scouts over the years in our pro meetings. We're hoping we can get Robby back up to the speed he was when he first came into the league and he had lots of success.
"I talked to Ken Hitchcock and (St. Louis Blues coach) Craig Berube yesterday. There's a belief there's more in him. There's opportunity. Like I said with Perlini, we have opportunity here, a clean slate and now he's got to grab it. We need more scoring, he can potentially provide that, so I look forward to watching him play."
In Fabbri's rookie season in 2015-16, he had 18 goals and 19 assists in 72 games. The following year he recorded 11 goals and 18 assists in just 51 games.
"I'm just gonna try to come in and do what I know I can do, and do what I can to help this team and help contribute right away," Fabbri said after the morning skate. "Everyone here has been welcoming. There's great facilities here and I'm excited to be here."
Fabbri played in the OHL with Tyler Bertuzzi on the Guelph Storm.
"A lot of the young guys I know from growing up," Fabbri said. "I know Bertuzzi, played junior with him and guys like Larkin and Perlini, just going through the draft process with them you get to know each other. It's nice to have a few familiar faces around."
Larkin recalls playing against Fabbri as he was growing up.
"He was always dangerous with the puck and he always had the puck on his stick," Larkin said. "He was one of those guys where being from Detroit, he's from Toronto, you knew who he was and you knew going into the game that it's Robby Fabbri, he's going to make plays and he's going to be a star out there. It's cool to have that and be in the same locker room with him now and come up through the same draft. We're pretty familiar with each other through events and just knowing each other through time. I'm excited that he's here and I think he's excited that he's here."
Fabbri is just 23 but he's already gone through injury hell, having torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee twice.
The original injury happened in February of 2017 and then he re-injured it during training camp that fall, forcing him to miss the entire 2017-18 season.
"I'm past those," Fabbri said. "Those were a couple of years ago now. I feel great out there. It's not even in my mind. When I'm playing I feel good."
Fabbri described himself as someone who likes to play fast, has some skill and a high compete level.
"There's definitely a lot of speed on this team and skill as well," Fabbri said. "They're a good group of young guys here that are all hungry. They all want to win and play hard. I'll fit in good with that."
During the morning skate, Fabbri was on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Andreas Athanasiou.
He also was on the first power-play unit with Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Bertuzzi and Dennis Cholowski.
"Everybody I talked to said he's certainly been good on the power play," Blashill said. "Back then it was running off the right half wall with (Paul) Stastny and they'd be interchangeable and on the goal line did a real good job there. They think he's got an IQ and skill set to be good on the power play. Prior to the injury he played very hard. He's obviously a smaller guy but played very hard. He's got to get back to playing that way.
"When you've been hurt with the massive injuries he's been hurt with sometimes you can get a little bit cautious, so it takes a little bit of time to get away from that. I'm hoping he can play as hard as he has in the past and he can give you scoring depth. Eventually he can play center; he won't early here."
TOP PP AGAINST BOTTOM PK: When they're playing 5-on-5, the Red Wings have been able to hold their own against the competition; it's when they begin to take penalties that their troubles begin.
And the Boston Bruins, Friday's opponent at Little Caesars Arena, are certainly one team you do not want to put on the power play.
Boston has the No. 1 power play in the NHL.
In 15 games, the B's have notched 16 power-play goals in 51 attempts for a success rate of 31.4 percent.
Right wing David Pastrnak leads the league in power-play goals with nine and defenseman Torey Krug, a Livonia native, is tops in the NHL in power-play assists with 10.
When you throw in the power-play totals of Pastrnak's linemates, center Patrice Bergeron (2-5-7) and left wing Brad Marchand (2-7-9), it's abundantly clear you're flirting with disaster if you give the Bruins the man-advantage.
"They present absolute difficulties on the (power play), they can interchange, just not Krug, but all of them can have interchangeable parts," Blashill said. "They've been together a long time, so the power play almost takes a life of its own, a lot of face-off plays, a lot of different things.
"We've been poor on the penalty kill, we have to make sure we're very, very good in our principles and we have to react accordingly to our principles. They're going to show us a lot of different looks. Now the best way to have a good penalty kill is to win the face-off and clear it down ice and have a great PK forecheck so you don't spend so much time in your end, that's the best way to have a good penalty kill. That is a challenge against Bergeron (55.35 percent on face-offs), I understand that, but we're going to have to do our best to try and win the face-off and get it down the ice."
It will be a difficult task for the Wings' penalty killers. Detroit ranks last in the NHL on the kill, having surrendered 18 goals in 54 kill attempts for a success rate of 66.7 percent.
Luke Glendening, a supreme penalty killer, has closely followed the Red Wings while recovering from hand surgery and feels there isn't just one element the Wings need to correct to turn the penalty killing around.
"I think it's just . . . I don't know if it's one thing. I can't put my finger on one thing. We just have to stick with the process," Glendening said. "I guess we hear that a lot and I guess it's a little bit of a cliché at this point. But you have to believe in each other on the PK and work as a unit of four. No one's going to feel bad for us. We just have work our way through it."
If the Wings can't keep their discipline in check, they'll have their work cut out for them against the lethal Bruins power play.
GLENDENING SKATING: During the morning skate, a player came to the bench wearing the black jerseys that defensemen wear.
But it was not a new, young defenseman. Instead, it was Glendening, who was waiting for the morning skate to finish so he could get on the ice.
Glendening has been out since Oct. 23, when he blocked a shot and injured his left hand, which he knew immediately wasn't good.
"Sometimes you just have that feeling," Glendening said. "I knew right away. It's part of the job, part of the territory, I guess."
Glendening underwent surgery on the hand so while he is able to skate, he can't do much with his hand yet.
"Skate and get bag skated," Glendening said. "They seem to like doing that to me. Right now that's all I'm doing."
The original timeline given was 2-4 weeks, with the likelihood that it would be closer to four weeks.
"I feel okay. I haven't seen a doctor, so I can't say that it's accelerated or I'm behind," Glendening said. "Hopefully in the next couple of days here I'll get a checkup and see where I'm at."
As one of the alternate captains, the team's best face-off man and one of the top penalty killers, Glendening is having a tough time watching, especially as the team struggles.
"It's killing me but I just gotta try to cheer the guys on as I can. Be here and be supportive," he said. "I feel for the guys. I know they're competing. You don't get to this level without a desire to win and a desire to be the best. I try to be supportive as much as I can but I'm not out there, so I'm just trying to be a good teammate. I know it's frustrating. I know they're tired of answering the same question about what's going wrong and how they can fix it. They're gonna continue to work and we're gonna continue to work until we get out of this."
RETURNING FROM INJURY/ILLNESS: Defenseman Mike Green is expected to play after missing the last three games due to illness.
Center Frans Nielsen is also expected to return to the lineup after missing one game with a lower-body injury.
HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER NIGHT: Tonight is the Wings' annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night and the team will welcome more than 100 cancer patients, survivors, caretakers and Road to Recovery volunteers as VIPs for the game.
"It's one of the things that's bigger than the game," Larkin said. "Tonight there's going to be a lot of people that cancer has unfortunately affected, everyone from family or friends and close ones, loved ones, someone you know. So it's bigger than hockey, it's something that we can celebrate, unfortunately the ones that have passed from the terrible disease, but also those who have beat it and been stronger than any of us playing out there and fought that fight and did it and are hopefully coming in tonight to celebrate the game of hockey and themselves and all loved ones."
The players will wear Hockey Fights Cancer lavender jerseys and use lavender-taped hockey sticks during warmups.
Those jerseys and sticks will be auctioned at DetroitRedWings.com/Auction and proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.