Jakub Vrana recently went through the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 3, 2023
His contract carries a $5.25M AAV through next season.
To call this an unexpected move would be a major understatement. Vrana had recently returned to the Red Wings after going through the NHL and NHLPA’s Player Assistance Program, and had played a few conditioning games in Grand Rapids. Just hours before news of the waiver hit, the Red Wings had announced that Vrana would play some additional games with the Griffins, effectively giving him a chance to play out the full two-week conditional stint.
Vrana arrived in Detroit via the Anthony Mantha trade with the Washington Capitals at the 2021 trade deadline. Despite his tenure only spanning 39 games over parts of those three seasons, Vrana was one of the Wings’ most electric players on the roster, scoring 32 points in that span, and a memorable four-goal game against the Stars late in 2021.
There is obviously plenty of speculation surrounding this, and there’s likely much more to this beyond a simple hockey move. We may get some clarity on parts of it in the coming days. Some of it may remain a mystery that’s, quite frankly, none of our business.
Regardless, the important thing here is that Vrana is in a situation beneficial for his physical and mental health. If that situation isn’t with the Red Wings, then that’s something we’ll have to accept.