via Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News,
Acquired from the Washington Capitals at the 2021 trade deadline, Vrana was expected to boost the rebuilding Wings' offense. However, a shoulder injury sidelined him for most of 2021-22. He only played two games this season before entering the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, rejoining the Wings on Dec. 16.
Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli said a lot of people were surprised that someone didn't pluck Vrana off the waiver wire. He pointed out that the winger is among the league leaders in goals per 60 minutes.
It shouldn't have been surprising that Vrana passed unclaimed despite his offensive skills. Cap Friendly indicates he carries a $5.25-million cap hit through 2023-24. That's too expensive in a league where all but seven of its 32 teams have $3.5 million or less in cap space this season.
Seravalli and Steven Ellis discussed whether Vrana still fits into the Wings' long-term plans. Seravalli wonders if a team pitches a trade offer that involves the Wings retaining what would be the equivalent cost of buying out his final season ($1.9 million) in exchange for a decent return.
Such a deal might not happen until the off-season. Interested clubs could prefer to wait and see how Vrana performs with Grand Rapids and with the Wings if he works his way back into their lineup.