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Jakub Vrana Still Not Practicing With Red Wings



Jakub Vrana, Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT — The Jakub Vrana status for the Detroit Red Wings’ next game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday remains unclear.

“Still out. Personal reasons. That’s all I’ve been told,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said after Tuesday’s practice. “So I don’t have a time frame on anything.”

Winger Adam Erne and defenseman Robert Hagg didn’t participate in Tuesday’s practice, but Lalonde said they were taking a “maintenance day” after blocking a shot in Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. The Red Wings have a day off on Wednesday, but both players are expected to practice Thursday before the team leaves for Chicago.

The Red Wings haven’t called up anyone from Grand Rapids to replace Tyler Bertuzzi who will be out four to six weeks. Even if Vrana is still absent, the Red Wings would have the same lineup they used against LA.

Filip Zadina replaced Vrana on the second line, and Joe Veleno re-entered the lineup. But Dominik Kubalik took Bertuzzi’s place on the top line with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond. Kubalik’s offensive skill has been noticeable in the early going. He has three points in his first three games as a Detroit Red Wing player. Kubalik had two assists against the Kings.

Red Wings Could Promote AHLer

With Vrana and Bertuzzi now out, the Red Wings now have three of their projected top six forwards sidelined. Robby Fabbri will be out until at least January with a knee injury.

If Vrana isn’t going play Friday, the Red Wings could easily call up a forward from their American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids. It’s only a three-hour drive to Chicago from Grand Rapids.

In these situations, the Red Wings’ improved depth is noticeable. Even without Bertuzzi and Vrana, the Red Wings still had a highly competitive lineup to face the Kings.