DETROIT – In a surprising move, the Detroit Red Wings have reportedly placed forward Jakub Vrana on waivers as the team makes room for the return of Robby Fabbri.
The Wings had to make a roster move to clear a roster spot for Fabbri, but Vrana was not expected to be it.
Vrana is on waivers today— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 3, 2023
Vrana, 26, is in the middle of a three-year contract worth $15 million he signed with the Wings in 2021. He recently returned to the team after entering the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. The Red Wings acquired Vrana in a trade with the Capitals in April 2021, along with Richard Panik, a first- and second-round pick in exchange for Anthony Mantha.
Vrana, who is from the Czech Republic, could clear waivers, opening the door to a minor league stint. He has 98 goals and 189 points in more than 300 total NHL games.
The Red Wings are currently fourth in the Atlantic Division, with a 16-12-7 record, but are outside of the playoff picture as it stands.
The NHL and NHLPA started the player assistance program in 1996, giving players access to a confidential phone line and counselors in each city in the league. The jointly funded group assists players and their families with mental health, substance abuse and other matters.