In Red Wings Land
Lundqvist’s injury wasn’t the only emotional rollercoaster Vanecek went on during the season. At the trade deadline, the Capitals, in a shock, dealt 2018 Stanley Cup champion Jakub Vrana and veteran Richard Panik to the Detroit Red Wings for Anthony Mantha. Vrana, who appeared to have a falling out with Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette, is Vanecek’s best friend. The two grew up together in Hershey and train and hang out together during the offseason in the Czech Republic. During Development Camp interviews, Vrana would translate for Vanecek.
“I was with Kuba (Vrana’s nickname) at the time, we were in a car,” Vanecek said. “It came out of nowhere. He didn’t know about it either, [his] agent didn’t know about it, they just called him that he’s been traded. Both of us have to come to terms with that and we might play against each other now.”
Obviously acquiring Vrana has worked out very well so far. Here’s some interesting details of how the deal went down from his perspective.
“I think we got a real good player who is a little bit of a different dimension for us,” Yzerman said in May, a few days after the 2020-21 season ended for the Wings. “He’s a big, thick kid who’s got pretty good hands and can play a lot of different situations. I think there’s a lot more there. But I really like Adam’s determination and his drive.
Watching Erne go on a scoring bender was one of the bright spots of last season.
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"We got a good team, we got a good lineup," Gallant said. "When I first talked to Chris about the opportunity and the job, I felt real good leaving the interview. I felt real comfortable with Chris. I said to my wife, 'I hope this works out because New York would be a great spot to go.' It's a high-market team and it's a good hockey team. Any time a coach looks at a team and looks at an opportunity to get a job with a team like this, you're excited about that. And I'm really excited. The main thing is that we've got a [heck] of a hockey team and we can move forward and we can be a good team for a long time if we do the right things and if we play the right way."
It’s going to be interesting to see 1. If Gallant can lead a new team to positive results like he did in his last two coaching stints and 2. If Gallant can last more than a couple seasons.