It wasn’t until just before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final when Robby Fabbri began thinking about how he’d want to celebrate if he won hockey’s most coveted trophy.
When he was finally able to lift the chalice along with his St. Louis Blues teammates, he felt the best way to celebrate his day with the cup was with the hockey club that was instrumental in his early development, the Mississauga Rebels.
“They were so great to me here and I wanted to give back to the kids and show them if they keep working, this can be their dream come true as well,” said Fabbri, who brought the Stanley Cup to Iceland Arena — where he played many games growing up as a Rebel — on Monday.
The Blues won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history on June 12. They completed a remarkable story by coming back from dead last in the NHL on Jan. 1.
For Fabbri, who played with the Rebels up until 2012, there was more adversity to overcome during the season. He was sidelined for nearly two years after going through two ACL surgeries and he missed part of last season with a shoulder injury as well.
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“It was definitely a tough couple of years leading up to this, but I couldn’t imagine a better year and a better group of guys who’ve accomplished what we did as a team,” said the 23-year-old. “From where we were in January to lifting the Cup on the ice with all my family there, there’s nothing like that in the world.”
Fabbri is the first Mississauga Rebel to ever win the Stanley Cup. Rebels alum Sean Monahan is a star with the Calgary Flames while several Rebels, including Jack Hughes, Philip Tomasino, Michael Vukojevic and Riley Damiani, were recently drafted into the NHL.
Rebels general manager Frank Caruso believes Fabbri sets an example for the next generation of Rebels hoping to make it to the NHL.
“He’s focused on his career obviously, but he’s never been one to not think about other people,” Caruso said. “That shows in how he plays the game too.”
Iain Colpitts is a reporter for Mississauga News and Brampton Guardian. Reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org