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Red Wings Explain Decision To Waive Former Capitals LW Vrana

The Detroit Red Wings offered some insight into their decision to waive former Washington Capitals forward Jakub Vrana.



The Detroit Red Wings made headlines with the shocking decision to waive former Washington Capitals forward Jakub Vrana as he continues his return following time in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Head coach Derek Lalonde spoke on that move.

Lalonde said that it was a "thorough" decision and that it helped open a roster spot for Robby Fabbri to return from injury.

"Steve and I discuss everything together. Ultimately, it’s steve’s decision. Exactly why you need a manager-coach layer. but weighing everything ultimately that’s what we came up with," Lalonde told reporters in a press conference.

The Red Wings bench boss wouldn't dive too much further into the situation, though, and said that he wants to keep things inside with regard to Vrana and his recovery.

"Really don’t want to go into the details of it, especially with the situation, where Jakub is and his coming back. Want to be kind of private, personal to him," Lalonde added. "Ultimately we had to make a decision and that was the decision."

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Vrana cleared waivers and will remain in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he is currently in the middle of a conditioning loan to get back up to game speed. Through three games, he has seven shots and a +/- of minus-5. He carries a cap hit of $5.25 million, so it would have cost a lot for a team to pick him up. Still, there's no denying the skill that the 2013 first-rounder brings.

The Czech forward was traded to Detroit back at the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for Anthony Mantha. He has played just 39 games with the Red Wings due to injury and time in the PA program but has 22 goals over that span.