If we’re voting for the sexiest trade Steve Yzerman has made during his tenure as GM of the Detroit Red Wings, certainly the deal that brought Jakub Vrana and first-round pick to the team wins the day. However, that move must do some more moving in order to lay claim to the title as Yzerman’s best trade in Detroit.
The clubhouse leader in that category remains the deal that landed center Robbie Fabbri from the St. Louis Blues. In 82 games as a Red Wing, Fabbri has scored 24 goals.
Sure, it would help if Fabbri would stay healthy on a more consistent basis. However, Jacob de la Rose, the player who went the other way in the trade, scored once in two seasons with the Blues. Next season, de la Rose will be playing for Sweden’s Färjestad BK.
Yzerman didn’t just win that deal. He fleeced the Blues.
Granted, should Vrana continue to score at a 60-goal pace for Detroit (eight goals in 11 games) and if the 22nd overall pick in this year’s NHL entry draft becomes an impact player, that deal will overtake the Fabbri move. But it can’t be forgotten that the cost for those two pieces was two-time 20-goal scorer Anthony Mantha. Mantha still finished with a share of the Red Wings goal-scoring lead this season.
Until all of the pieces shake out from this transaction, the Fabbri deal remains the clubhouse leader for Yzerman’s top Detroit trade.
Fleury Still Making Big Saves
Vegas Hockey Now: It’s been 12 years since Marc-Andre Fleury’s last-second save for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 foiled Detroit’s most recent Stanley Cup bid. And here he is, poised to get back to the Cup final series for the sixth time.
New York Islanders Hockey Now: The Islanders remain insistent he won’t play until next season. So why is captain Anders Lee (ACL injury) continuing to skate? It’s reminiscent of Yzerman coming back from a knee injury to play for Detroit in the 1988 Western Conference final.
Colorado Hockey Now: Should Seth Jones want to be a Colorado Avalanche, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising. When his dad, former NBA player Popeye Jones was with the Denver Nuggets, he was told his son had elite hockey potential. Unsure what to do, he approached Avs captain Joe Sakic for advice.
Sakic came to watch Seth play. Afterward, he put Popeye in touch with all the top power skating coaches and best youth hockey people in the state.
NHL: In honor of the Canadiens reaching the Stanley Cup semifinals, Montreal’s St. Viateur Bagel baked a Stanley Cup bagel. Does this mean that the Habs are lox to make it to the Cup final for the first time since 1993?
By the way, Game 1 in Las Vegas between the Golden Knights and Canadiens at T-Mobile Arena marked the first time since the Los Angeles Kings beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 at the Staples Center on March 11, 2020 that a Canadian NHL team played a game in the USA.