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Blues rule out Robby Fabbri for entire 2017-18 season

Washington Capitals v St Louis Blues

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 05: Robby Fabbri #15 of the St. Louis Blues watches from the bench during the preseason game against Washington Capitals at Sprint Center on October 5, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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This has already been a rough summer/preseason for the St. Louis Blues, but Wednesday presented the worst news so far.

The Blues announced brutal news: the promising young forward Robby Fabbri will miss the entire 2017-18 season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee.

With this coming season already off the table, the bigger questions revolve around Fabbri’s long-term future.

Is this the sort of issue he’ll just need some time to bounce back from? Will he ever be the same if he does return? As a smaller scorer, a loss of speed and agility could be a huge problem.

Hopefully these broader concerns are overly pessimistic. Either way, this is lousy news for the Blues, and really for fans of exciting offense in general.

Promising signs early on

The 21-year-old seemed like a potential steal for the Blues as the 21st pick of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Fabbri showed some significant flashes of brilliance even as a rookie in 2015-16. He almost scored 20 goals (18 goals, 37 points in 72 regular-season games) despite modest ice time with an average of 13:19 per night. The 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs were an even better showcase for Fabbri, who managed 15 points in 20 games despite still receiving only modest ice time.

Unfortunately, his sophomore season was derailed by these issues, as Fabbri last suited up for St. Louis in early February. To call this another setback is an understatement.

Bruised Blues

Fabbri isn’t the only key Blues player dealing with a substantial issue.

Bad news could conceivably come when St. Louis takes another look at Jay Bouwmeester’s fractured ankle. Patrik Berglund is expected to miss months while Alex Steen might begin 2017-18 on IR. Zach Sanford’s season was essentially derailed thanks to a shoulder injury, too.

The Blues were coming into this campaign with a chance to sneak up on some people, especially with Mike Yeo getting a chance to truly put his stamp on the team. That can still happen, but these injury issues likely take the wind out of some of their buzz as a dark horse team in the West.