Detroit Red Wings bring up Austin Czarnik to balance against Robby Fabbri’s injury

Detroit Free Press

Austin Czarnik made a favorable impression in his earlier stint with the Detroit Red Wings, earning another opportunity.

With Robby Fabbri nursing a lower-body injury and two games on the slate this weekend, the Wings on Friday called up the 30-year-old from Washington Township. Czarnik (5 feet 9, 170 pounds) appeared in 12 games with the Wings in November and December, posting two goals and an assist. He’s a defensively sound forward who can play center or wing. Dating to the 2015-16 season, Czarnik has played in 154 NHL games, also dressing for the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders, at Seattle Kraken.

The Wings (29-26-9) play in Boston on Saturday, then Sunday host the NHL-leading Bruins (49-9-5) at Little Caesars Arena.

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Fabbri was hurt in the first period of Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks when he was hit along the boards by Tyler Johnson. Coach Derek Lalonde said there is no timetable on Fabbri’s return, but he is expected to play again this season. With him unavailable, the Wings were down to 11 forwards. That means Czarnik was recalled on an emergency basis, still leaving the Wings with three regular call-ups on the table.

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The Wings have had to patch their lineup over the past two weeks. Michael Rasmussen suffered a season-ending injury when he took a puck off his right knee cap Feb. 25, and in the days leading up to the March 3 trade deadline, general manager Steve Yzerman flipped forwards Tyler Bertuzzi (to the Bruins), Oskar Sundqvist, Jakub Vrana, and defenseman Filip Hronek.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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