Photo: Adam Hunger/AP
Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde confirmed this morning that former Washington Capitals forward Jakub Vrána will play tonight against his old team. Lalonde confirmed Vrana’s status following the Red Wings morning skate.
This will be Vrana’s first appearance at Capital One Arena since he was traded for Anthony Mantha back on April 12, 2021, almost two full years ago.
Derek Lalonde has Jakub Vrana in tonight, Filip Zadina out for Red Wings at Washington Capitals.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) February 21, 2023
Lalonde said after Monday’s practice that “we would like to get him in,” Tuesday when the Wings face the Capitals. “We are stuck on who to take out.”
“It’s been some time, so I am really excited,” Vrana said on Monday. “I’ve been training a lot so it’s going to be nice at some point to get the game going and get that game feel. I’m excited to go in.”
Vrana spent Monday’s practice at Capital One Arena taking shifts on the third and fourth line. He has not played in the NHL since Oct. 15, just prior to entering the players assistance program.
Vrana was waived by the Red Wings on January 3, cleared waivers on January 4, and was re-assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL. He was recalled by the Red Wings on February 15, but has yet to play in a game.
Vrana missed last year’s Capitals-Red Wings game in the District due to a shoulder injury he sustained at the start of the season. Vrana missed the Red Wings first visit to DC earlier this season back in mid-December because of his stint in the NHL’s player assistance program.
By Jon Sorensen
Good to see Jake back. But concerned, he probably feels like he has a lot to prove tonight.
He’s gonna go off. I can feel it.
Video tribute? Maybe show the breakaway goal he scored in the clinching 2018 Game 5 SCF?
Good one. There are a few.
Welcome back, Jake!