By this point, we’re all aware that Jakub Vrana is not with the Detroit Red Wings, but rather in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
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You have to wonder what’s next in the Vrana saga. Will he remain in the AHL? Or will he get the call up to Detroit before the 2022-23 season concludes?
In my opinion, the Red Wings and Vrana need a redemption story. Let me explain, starting first with how we got here.
Vrana in Detroit: Timeline of Events
Since he arrived in Hockeytown, there has been a flurry of activity involving Vrana. The timeline below outlines the brief history of the forward’s stay in Detroit:
- Apr. 12, 2021 – Detroit acquires Vrana from the Washington Capitals
- May 8, 2021 – Vrana finishes the 2020-21 season with 11 points in 11 Red Wings games
- Sep. 25, 2021 – Vrana exits training camp after 10 minutes with a shoulder injury; has surgery
- Mar. 8, 2022 – Vrana returns to the lineup after missing 56 games
- Apr. 29, 2022 – Vrana finishes the 2021-22 campaign with 19 points in 26 games
- Oct. 15, 2022 – The Red Wings defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-2; Vrana has a goal and an assist
- Oct. 19, 2022 – Vrana enters the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program
- Dec. 16, 2022 – Vrana exits the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program; begins practicing
- Dec. 27, 2022 – The Red Wings send Vrana down to the AHL for a conditioning stint
- Jan. 3, 2023 – Detroit waives Vrana; he goes unclaimed and is assigned to the AHL
As you can see, it’s been a roller coaster tenure for Vrana. In 39 games, the Czech forward has recorded 32 points, including 22 goals. No other Red Wing has been able to match his goal-scoring prowess in that time.
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But on the flip side, Vrana has been limited to just 39 games over two-plus seasons with the Red Wings. Surely, the team would be in a better position if he was in the lineup more often, though you can’t fault Vrana for the time missed while he was in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.
Why the Red Wings & Vrana Need Each Other
From Detroit’s standpoint, the organization needs Vrana for his goal-scoring abilities. When he’s in the lineup, he’s their best pure scorer.
Vrana also has a knack for capitalizing on defensive miscues and quickly creating scoring chances. This is especially valuable at five-on-five, where the Red Wings continue to struggle.