The National Hockey League announced on Sunday that the Detroit Red Wings would be shut down until at least after the league’s Holiday Break.
The Wings would be eligible to resume their schedule against the New York Rangers on December 27.
The move comes with the team announcing that forwards Sam Gagner, Pius Suter, and Joe Veleno has been placed in COVID protocol, along with assistant video coach Jeff Weintraub.
Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen had been placed on the COVID list on Thursday. Givani Smith, Carter Rowney, Alex Nedeljkovic, and coaches Jeff Blashill and Alex Tanguay were added on Saturday morning. Filip Zadina was a late addition on Saturday, announced just before the Red Wings hosted the New Jersey Devils.
The team had only one game remaining on the schedule in the week leading up to Christmas anyway, a Thursday visit to the Minnesota Wild. Monday’s matchup between the Wings and Colorado in Detroit had already been postponed due to COVID concerns with the Avalanche.
The Red Wings join the Avalanche, Calgary Flames, and Florida Panthers as teams having been temporarily shut down.
As I said yesterday, some kind of league-wide shutdown seems inevitable at this point. There are over 100 players across the league in COVID protocol. This isn’t contained.
Cross-border travel was also cancelled through the end of the Holiday Break so no one would be forced to quarantine on the wrong side of a border for Christmas.
So it seems like the league recognizes that it’s not contained. But, to give them the benefit of the doubt, it’s also not contained in communities, so would shutting the league down actually do any good? I’m not an epidemiologist, I don’t know.
With Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen already in COVID protocol, the Detroit Red Wings added five more to that list on Saturday.
The Red Wings are set to host the New Jersey Devils tonight.
New Jersey, meanwhile, placed defenseman P.K. Subban on the COVID list.
This comes as the virus runs rampant through the NHL. Per CapFriendly, 90 players across the league are in COVID protocol. The Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche have had their seasons paused until after Christmas, with Detroit’s matchup against the Avalanche on Monday yet to be rescheduled.
Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Ben Simon and assistant Todd Krygier have been tapped to join Detroit assistant coach Doug Houda behind the Red Wings’ bench with Blashill and Tanguay unavailable. Simon and Krygier are available because the Griffins’ weekend series with the Toronto Marlies was postponed due to an outbreak on the Marlies’ roster.
It seems like some kind of league-wide pause is inevitable at this point, however no further cancellations involving the Red Wings have been announced.
The Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of forward Robby Fabbri to a three-year deal on Monday night.
And… Can it be?! They actually included financial terms!
I didn’t love the deal when I first heard it but, after sleeping on it, I think it’s entirely reasonable.
My initial thought was that it didn’t look right to have Fabbri signed for longer than any other player on the roster. But that’s just an effect of the Red Wings having so few players signed to term. There’s nothing wrong with three years given what Fabbri has shown in his time with Detroit.
The AAV of $4 million might be a touch high but the Red Wings aren’t projected to be a cap team in the next three years so it’s not the end of the world by any means. In a cap world we’d love everyone to want to sign with our team for the league minimum, of course. But this is an amount that can probably be traded, if necessary, or can be traded with salary retained (if even more necessary).
A contract for Fabbri was always going to be interesting because of where the Wings are in their rebuild. A pending free agent this summer, Fabbri could have been flipped at the deadline for assets towards the rebuild. That would have just left the team needing to replace him, though.
On a three-year deal, he’ll still be young enough that, if the Wings are still rebuilding at the end of his contract (or if young players from the rebuild have pushed him out of the lineup, in a more optimistic scenario), he can be flipped as a pending free agent down the road.
I think it’s a safe deal, if a little expensive.