Jakub Vrana “not happy” about how things went with Red Wings

Vrana had a rough go of it in Detroit this season.

Published 1 year ago
Jakub Vrana “not happy” about how things went with Red Wings
STL Today

The Detroit Red Wings entered this season understandably expecting forward Jakub Vrana to be a major part of their offensive attack. However, just two games into the 2022-23 schedule, he entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program for an undisclosed issue and was absent for two months. 

Upon being reinstated, he was sent on a conditioning stint with the American Hockey League affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins before being waived. No team picked him up, and he remained within the Red Wings organization. He would eventually be called back up to the big club, but was sparingly used and was mostly a healthy scratch. Detroit made the ultimate decision to part ways with him, sending him to the St. Louis Blues at last week's NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for a 7th round draft pick in 2025 and a career minor league forward. 

The situation was certainly confusing for Detroit fans and media alike, and now, Vrana is telling his side of things following his first practice with St. Louis. 

“Things were not going well in Detroit,” Vrana said. “So I got a call (Friday morning) that I’m coming here, and I was really happy about that. I look at it as a new opportunity. And so far I’ve been here, everybody’s great. All the guys have been really nice to me, and I’m looking forward to going to the games and battle with them and do some things."

According to Vrana, he was ready to get back into the swing of things when he was reinstated from the Assistance Program. But apparently, Detroit didn't see it that way.

“To be honest with you, I came back (from the player assistance program) and conditioning-wise I was ready,” Vrana said. “I did some testing — I had better numbers than in the training camp."

“I was ready to play. Unfortunately, I’m just a player and I don’t make the decisions who’s gonna play, who’s not. So the decision was to send me down, put me on waivers. I accepted. There was no other way, right?”

In 17 games with the Griffins, Vrana tallied six goals and five assists. He went pointless in the three games that he appeared in with the Red Wings since the start of the new calendar year. And while he was hoping for the opportunity to once again get back into regular action at the NHL level, it just didn't happen with the Red Wings. GM Steve Yzerman explained earlier this week that he didn't have faith that the situation would get better and that it was ultimately time for the two sides to move on from one another. 

“I can’t tell you I was happy about it,” Vrana said. “I accepted because it’s just how it is. Sometimes you’re gonna accept things even though you don’t like them. But yeah, I didn’t agree with how it went.”

The Red Wings will actually be playing Vrana and the Blues in back to back games later this month. 

Source: STL Today