The NHL announced on October 19 that former Washington Capitals and current Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana had been placed in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Well-wishes and messages of love and encouragement have been pouring in throughout the week. The Grind Line Podcast, which talks all things Red Wings, has started a Jakub Vrana Card Drive in an effort to show support to 26-year-old.
The podcast announced the initiative on Sunday. They are asking fans to mail cards, notes of support, pictures, etc. to Vrana. If you would like to partake in the effort, the address is below:
C/O Detroit Red Wings
2645 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48201
— The Grind Line Podcast™ (@GrindLinePod) October 26, 2022
Vrana is unavailable to the Red Wings for an indefinite period while he receives care from the player assistance program of the NHL and NHLPA. Under the terms of the joint program, Vrana will continue to be paid while receiving treatment and will return to the team when cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators. His care will be administered pursuant to the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
The NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program was created in 1996 to help NHL players and their families deal with substance abuse, mental health, and other personal challenges.
Vrana didn’t play in the October 17 game against the Los Angeles Kings and didn’t participate in the following day’s practice due to what the Wings called “personal reasons.” The team removed Vrana from their active roster earlier in the day on October 19th before the league had announced the news.
Vrana played over 11 minutes on October 15th’s 5-2 victory in New Jersey, scoring his first goal of the season against fellow Czech best friend and Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek.
V GOES TOP 🧀! pic.twitter.com/HmNS1hf1um
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 16, 2022
Vrana has only played 39 games since arriving at the trade deadline in April 2021 in the deal that sent Anthony Mantha to Washington. He missed the first 56 games of last season due to shoulder surgery after sustaining an injury within the first 10 minutes of training camp. However, in those 39 games as a Red Wing, Vrana has scored 22 goals with 10 assists.
We don’t want to speculate what specifically Vrana is dealing with, but we continue to wish him all the best and a speedy return to the Red Wings and the NHL.
By Della Young