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Red Wings place forward Jakub Vrana on waivers

The 26-year-old has only appeared in two games this season after spending time in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.

The Detroit Red Wings placed forward Jakub Vrana on waivers on Tuesday in a surprising move. (Getty Images)
The Detroit Red Wings placed forward Jakub Vrana on waivers on Tuesday in a surprising move. (Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings have placed forward Jakub Vrana on waivers, TSN's Chris Johnston reported on Tuesday.

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Vrana, 26, has appeared in just two games this season, registering a goal and an assist. On Oct. 19, he entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, designed to offer players treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues.

"For me personally, I don't feel like sharing anything [about why I was in the program]. It's my personal reasons," Vrana told reporters when he returned to the Red Wings last month. "There's bigger things than hockey in life. You're going to deal with some things that are bigger than hockey or whatever it could be. It's important to make that decision [before] it's too late. You have to make some decisions that are important in your life and hockey is besides that."

Vrana was reinstated on Dec. 16, and after participating in a few practices with Detroit, he was assigned to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins on a conditioning stint. He failed to register a point and earned a minus-five rating over three games with the Griffins last week.

The Prague, Czech Republic native scored 13 goals and 19 points in 26 games last season after missing 56 games following shoulder surgery. Vrana is in the second year of a three-year, $15.75-million contract ($5.25-million AAV) he signed with Detroit in August 2021.

Despite struggling to remain healthy in his time with the Red Wings, Vrana will surely draw interest from teams looking to add some offensive firepower to their roster.

Vrana was acquired by the Red Wings from the Washington Capitals in April 2021 as part of a package deal for forward Anthony Mantha.

In 323 career NHL games, Vrana has 98 goals and 91 assists for 189 points, registering a career-best 52 points in the 2019-20 campaign. He won the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018.

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