Photo: CBS Sports
The NHL announced on Friday morning that former Washington Capitals and current Detroit Red Wings left-wing Jakub Vrana has been reinstated by the league and the players’ association player assistance program.
The 26-year-old practiced with Detroit for the first time since mid-October.
Jakub Vrana back at Red Wings practice for first time since being placed in players assistance program Oct. 19. pic.twitter.com/JGN0XK3qWE
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) December 16, 2022
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.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) December 16, 2022
Vrana played two games before entering the program, tallying a goal and an assist against former Washington teammate and goaltender Vitek Vanecek against the New Jersey Devils on October 15.
He was scratched two nights later vs. the Los Angeles Kings due to “personal reasons.”
Vrana has only played 39 games since arriving at the trade deadline on April 12 2021, in the deal that sent left-wing 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 in Detroit, Vrana has scored 22 goals with 32 points.
The Capitals host Detroit on Monday but Vrana, who has yet to face the team he won the Stanley Cup with in 2018, will likely not be ready after being away from the team for eight weeks. Detroit will also visit Capital One Arena on Tuesday, February 21.
Washington currently leads Detroit by two points for the third wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference but Detroit has three games in hand.
By Harrison Brown