Coach Jeff Blashill is not saying when he believes Jakub Vrana will be back in the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup. But it feels like it will be soon.
Asked about whether Jakub Vrana might be ready for this weekend when the Red Wings play the Lightning and Panthers in Florida, Blashill said: “Waiting on some testing and consult with the doctor and then I’ll let you guys know.”
The Red Wings play Tampa Bay Friday and the Florida Panthers Saturday.
Vrana hasn’t played a game this season. He re-injured his shoulder in his first few minutes in training camp. He needed surgery to repair the damage. Vrana had originally hurt the shoulder last season. He chose rehabilitation over surgery. That decision didn’t work out for him.
Vrana, 26, came over from the Washington Capitals last season in the Anthony Mantha Trade. He registered eight goals and 11 points in 11 games. The Red Wings gave Jakub Vrana a new three-year contract in the offseason at $5.25 million per season. The expectation was that he would be the Red Wings’ top scoring winger this season.
Blashill hasn’t said how he will configure his lines after Vrana returns. The Red Wings have been a better offensive team since Blashill switched Tyler Bertuzzi from Dylan Larkin’s line to the No. 2 line with Pius Suter at center.
Bertuzzi, Suter and Robby Fabbri have looked sharp together. That means Blashill likely would put Vrana with Larkin and Raymond. Since Blashill put Michael Rasmussen Joe Veleno and Filip Zadina together on the third line that trio has performed well. But Vladislav Namestnikov has 13 goals this season. The line shuffling won’t be an easy decision.
Blashill likes finally having four contributing lines. Vrana will simply add to that.
“I think it’s a huge thing,’ Blashill said. “I trusted all four lines last night (against Carolina) and that’s what it takes. When your lines go out and earn your trust you can keep rolling them out there and you kind of get shorter shifts and you’re rolling your lines over and you become a four-line team everyone want to be to have success.”