Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A2Y- Detroit Puts Jakub Vrana On Waivers

01/03/2023 at 2:03pm EST


A couple of ways to look at this.

Vrana makes $5.2M and perhaps the Wings think no other team will pick him up for that amount.

Or the Wings feel they have enough talent up front to replace him.  Or either Vrana or the Wings wanted to cut ties.



Wow. That is great support for a guy coming out of rehab. I feel the love. 

I cannot wait to hear Murray say Trades are  Hard for the hundredth time in the last few months. 😃


I need a capologist.  How many teams have salcap space to actually make a waiver claim?  Could be a legit game of chicken here… (Reddit tells me only four teams could make this claim, but that seems low to me.)


Yzerman always seems to catch everyone by surprise


There is a LOT of speculation and plenty of theories floating around right now. Hard to know what to make of this without knowing more. Fresh start/cutting ties? Calculated risk? Monster trade in the works that makes him and his $5m/year expendable? 

Sure seems like a headscratcher but we'll have to wait and see how this piece of the Yzerplan plays out. 


from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

With more than half the league tight against the salary cap ceiling, maybe Vrana will slip through waivers. Undoubtedly, some general managers around the NHL are trying to find out today why the Red Wings put Vrana on waivers.

Since coming to Detroit in a trade with the Washington Capitals, Vrana has scored 22 goals in 39 games. But the Red Wings were disappointed in Vrana last season when he showed up and immediately needed shoulder surgery. Doctors had suggested surgery in the previous offseason, but Vrana opted for rehabilitation.

The other question is whether Vrana wants to leave the organization. Coach Derek Lalonde said it was Vrana’s decision to extend his conditioning stay in Grand Rapids. We don’t know what he has been going through. Does he want a fresh start?



You gotta know when to hold ‘em’, know when to fold em’………….






Have cap space. I can see Buffalo grabbing him unless he is still struggling with his issues.


Well, lots of thoughts on this:

1) Disappointed to see the team waive him after coming out of the players assistance program.  Honestly expect better of the organization, though we don't know what happens behind the scenes.  It's a bad image, though, and disappointing to put it mildly.

2) Is he officially damaged goods now?  

3) I can't imagine he passes waivers, even if eyebrows are raised.  Some team will take a try at him. (looking at you, Buffalo and Ottawa).

4) I NOW declare Detroit lost that trade.


I don’t think he’s being thrown under the bus so to speak. Yzerman signed Bobby Ryan, and he had some big problems, but, every situation is different. 


Then you consider the middling talent clogging the 3rd and 4th lines taking roster spots.  AND the fact we're carrying 3 goalies.  THREE GOALIES...and probably two of them should be in the AHL.  


To me, if OTT or BUF don't take him -- both being borderline playoff teams -- then there's something else big going on that we're not privvy to. Hoping for a presser from Stevie soon? Wonder if he thought he'd slip this under the radar (of both the other GMs and the fan base)...


Something is going on that we’re not privy to makes sense. Yzerman really never tips his hand. Been reading that Vrana has scrubbed Red Wings related pics and such off his social media.(Instagram) Maybe he just wants out of Detroit.



It's interesting that Vrana took anything associated with the Wings down from his social media sites. It may be an overreaction on his part or if he even clears waivers, he is not coming back. 


The last remaining post on his  IG acct is from right after he was traded, thanking the fans in DC. Metihinks Jake has played his last in the Winged Wheel. 😭


Yea, his IG in DRW free. Maybe his shoulder mishap and recent rehab was enough for Yzerman to close the book on him. Unlikely that SY will tell us anything meaningful. 



I've been high on Vrana since we got him, he's got the potential for a 40 goal season if he can get himself together.  No idea what's going on here but definitely agree there's something we don't know.


I hope there is a gentleman's agreement with other NHL teams to let him through waivers, so he can properly deal with his off-ice rehab while getting in game-shape.

Otherwise, I am not sure what to think...


More money is being added to the Wings cap as more players are becoming healthier.  Sometime in the past, someone posted here on A2Y how daily cap is calculated.  I think it's more about cap management than player quality and the quantity they're getting from Vrana.  


I really don't know how the cap is affected by a player coming back from an extended absence in the player assistance program. I know how it is with LTIR.

If a player who has been out of playing action for 10 games and 24 days (the LTIR minimums) goes out on a conditioning stint:

1)player must agree to the loan to the AHL

2)player will be paid full NHL salary

3)however: while on this loan, the player salary cap number is treated like its LTIR.

4) This lasts only up to 3 games or 6 days (but teams can request an additional 2 games and another 8 days from the weasel that only cares about ruining the game any chance he has--otherwise known as Buttman).

I also know coming out of the player assistance program puts the player on the active roster immediately. But as far as daily cap consequences--someone else needs to explain what's different and how the cap is hit.


I think we only save about $1M on his salary cap hit while he plays in the AHL, pro-rated...


Something tells me this trade season is gonna be brutal.


Surprised and not surprised based on what happened the past two seasons.


Feels like another shoe is going to drop. Bert?


Well trades are hard (and that might only be the 7th time 100 seems excessive)

Surprising but not really if you think about it, actually a very calculated chance he passes waivers and stays in GR for a longer stretch if we need him, or until next season frankly.  Think about it, if you are another GM, do you pickup a guy with $5MM cap hit next year that has been called out by many different coaches, was traded by Washington after being benched and then just given away by Yzerman whose team is in the hunt, right after coming out of rehab?   Sorry but don't you have to speculate that maybe the rehab didn't work, or that he's struggling to adjust, even if that's not true, which I hope its not, do you risk that? 

And the teams that have the space noted above, Arizona, Chicago, and Anaheim want to lose, and if your Buffalo do you risk rocking the boat and you need that space next year.


"Sorry but don't you have to speculate that maybe the rehab didn't work, or that he's struggling to adjust, even if that's not true, which I hope its not, do you risk that?"

I would find it hard to believe that the "rehab didn't work" so the red wings just sent him to GR for a couple weeks to play with the AHL team while Stevie figures out how to get rid of him. 

Who knows why it was done or whether we'll ever get an explanation, lots of interesting theories that could turn out to be real. They could be done with him after his injuries and recent issues, maybe they thought he was just way too much of a wild card to have anyone bite. Time will tell


wow.  well, I did say yesterday that I didn’t know what the best long term approach to roster management was.  Zadina may just hang around.  I like what Vrana has done in Detroit, on the ice.  They need the scoring punch.  Maybe it was just done b/c he has a good chance of clearing waivers.  Maybe there was the decision to try to remove him from the roster.  I don’t know.  



That was my initial reaction to the headline. I think my heart might have even stopped for a second or two (in spite of having a pacemaker). But then I read the comments.

There were two observations that stand out to me. One, Vrana showed in his rehab assignment that he's not really "rehabbed." Lord knows, if he has a drug problem, two weeks in GR will test your ability to stay off whatever your poison is. ;-)

Second, was this comment from MZ2215: "Monster trade in the works that makes him and his $5m/year expendable?" Are the Wings interested enough in Horvat to just let Vrana go for nothing (if he gets claimed)?

We live in interesting times.


Just a general comment. While it's nice to be able to edit our posts, the process the developers came up with is not a good one. Line breaks don't hold. Extra line breaks get added. I must have edited my post above a half dozen times to get it reasonably close to the original.


I've brought this to  the attention of the devs and it will be fixed within a very short time.

I've experienced the same issues.


Thanks, Paul. I think the issue is that the actual changes don't take place until you refresh the page. The "preview" we're getting isn't an accurate representation of the final post. 


Big smile when he talks about being back with the guys on the ice.  But the closing lines about it not being his decision is pretty cryptic in light of how today has gone...


Well that’s one way to try for Bedard.  


Honestly I cannot understand this at all. No matter what happened between Vrana and SY, why not wait for the trade deadline and get some picks for Vrana?


Because he was required to be added to the roster when he came out of the assistance program. The Wings have people coming off medical LTIR and they needed a roster space now--they simply can't wait it out until the deadline. Plus the 23 man roster is really a 20 guy lineup. Are you really going to healthy scratch Fabbri if he's ready to play?

Part of it was a healthy gamble that 5.25M x 1.5 yrs is more than teams can handle. It's 4 teams that realistically can handle that contract as is. And a couple of them are in full tank mode for Connor Bedard. If not than the asset you gain from losing Vrana is cap space. Might this be a way to spark other GM's interested if the Wings are willing to retain salary? Or is it just a calculated move that Vrana will clear?

Detroit's thought have to include if the guy is so injury prone/needing assistance he's going to be selectively in the lineup: that is a huge issue. Don't discount the whole coming to camp late and requiring surgery after being on the ice for 10 minutes: that probably infuriated management. Has he even informed the Wings why he was in the program? Did he inform them he was extending his conditioning stint in the AHL? Does he want out immediately?

They appear to want to keep 3 goalies as long as possible (which tells me goalie #2 (or more aptly #3 now) is dealing with an undisclosed by temporary medical problem and they know they will lose him if they put him on waivers).

The Wings (already had 'lil Bert and Raymond as) wingers (and Vrana's cap hit, contract, along with a stagnant cap next year) likely played a role. Vrana is a top 2 lines winger (and probably slots best as a 2nd line winger). But the Wings got 2 of those in free agency (Perron and Kubalik). Those two are on pace for around 25 goals this season and both have 1 more year under contract (just like Vrana). Both have proven more durable than Vrana. Both add a defensive dimension Vrana is lacking.

They also have Rasmussen who has stepped up to play 1st line minutes--yet is still considered a prospect at age 23 so significant growth is still possible. Now throw in the progress rookies like Berggren and Soderblom are making. You see those guys making plays away from the puck and playing in the d-zone---not so with Vrana.

That's at least part of why they took the gamble.


from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Losing Vrana this season for a significant chunk was a blow to the Wings, who counted on the forward to be a major part of their offense. Dealing with an off-ice issue is one thing, and whatever Vrana was going through deserves support. But last year he showed up late for camp, and was on the ice for 10 minutes before a shoulder injury required attention. It turned out to be something that had lingered since the previous season, and required surgery, and sidelined Vrana 56 games. That was a major setback for a team that at the time did not have much in the way of scoring power.

In nearly two years with the Wings, Vrana has played 39 games, producing 22 goals and 10 assists.

Vrana could certainly find a taker. Being able to fit his contract, which carries a $5.25 million salary cap hit through 2023-24, is an issue, but could be solved via a trade or waivers. The appeal is getting a player who is 26 and who needs only one shot to score — and getting him for nothing. Vrana is a former first-round pick (No. 13 overall in 2014 by Washington) who has 98 goals among 189 points in 323 games. He's posted two 20-goal seasons. He's a top-six winger and power-play threat with a nose for offense. Vrana is the type of player contenders covet at the trade deadline, and now he is available for free. And if it doesn't work out, a team could do what the Wings did, and place him on waivers again.

more ($)


From Newsday - Don't know where NYI gets the cap space.....  

"The Red Wings placed left wing Jakub Vrana, 26, on waivers on Tuesday and he does have ties to the Islanders. Coach Lane Lambert was a Capitals assistant during Vrana’s first two seasons in the NHL with Washington. Vrana’s agent, J.P. Barry, also represents Mathew Barzal.

Vrana, who has one season remaining on a three-year, $15.75 million deal, has 98 goals and 91 assists in 323 career NHL games. He exited the NHL/NHL Players’ Association assistance program on Dec. 9 and had played three games in an AHL conditioning stint."

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah

It doesn’t appear to be unconditional waivers for a buyout so not totally thrown under the bus. Could be the Wings can’t do that after a rehab stint. 

His removal of Red Wings pics on social media is like a child grumbling after being told to clean their room. In time hopefully maturity will win the day and he will pit them back. 

dcaRoyal Grand Exalted PooBah

Talked with someone that followed him after he entered the player assistance program (think he was already following but actually visited his profile) looking to see if he would let slip when he'd be back. Not much on his social media and most of it wasn't hockey related. He did delete a lot of it so he clearly wasn't targeting the Wings.

RedMenaceRoyal Grand Exalted PooBah

"His removal of Red Wings pics on social media..."

From everything I've read, he never really had anything on social media to begin with, never mind that he removed anything he did have before entering the PAP (again, according to several people who follow him on social media).

I just think this particular line of panic needs to be squashed in general. I'm not saying there aren't other potential avenues of panic, just that this isn't one of them.



Good post by CJ. Thank you Paul

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