Detroit Red Wings and former Washington Capitals left-wing Jakub Vrana met with the Detroit media via Zoom on Wednesday to discuss the new three-year contract he signed that carries a $5.25 million cap hit on Tuesday to avoid arbitration.
Vrana, who became a restricted free agent on July 28, praised the organization for showing him more faith than the Capitals did as he told the media that “Everyone from day one was very kind and helped me fit in. This team has great potential and a bright future, I am really happy to join this group.”
“The opportunity to play for the Red Wings is a lot different than in Washington. I get more ice time. My role has changed a little bit, and I’m looking forward just to prove what I can do and show my potential,” the 25-year-old said.
Vrana tallied 11 goals and 25 points in 39 games with the Capitals last season before getting traded to the Red Wings in a deal that sent left-wing Anthony Mantha to Washington. In 11 games after the trade, Vrana recorded eight goals and 11 points.
Head coach Peter Laviolette scratched Vrana twice before the Capitals traded him and never seemed to click with the young Czech.
In 284 career games with the Capitals, Vrana has recorded 76 goals, 157 points, and a +36 rating. He set career-highs in goals (25) and points (52) in 69 games during the 2019-20 season. He has no points and a combined -8 rating in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games over the past two seasons when the Capitals were eliminated in the first round both times after recording three goals and eight points in 23 games during the 2018 tournament.
Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said he saw a “frustrated player” in Vrana in terms of his body language and the team wanted to move on from that.
Mantha tallied four goals and eight points in 14 regular-season games with the Capitals after the trade and two assists in five Stanley Cup Playoff games.
By Harrison Brown