Red Wings place Jakub Vrana on waivers as Robby Fabbri returns to lineup

Vrana could clear waivers and return to team for minor league stint

Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana is seen during an NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Blue Jackets won 5-4 in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon) (Paul Vernon, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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, 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.

Fabbri is returning from an ACL tear back in March of last season. He signed a new three-year deal with the team in 2021.

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.

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Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.