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Vrana Will Stay a Bit Longer With Grand Rapids Griffins



Jakub Vrana, Detroit Red Wings

Jakub Vrana had seven shots on goal for the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday. But they weren’t enough to convince him that he’s ready to return to the NHL after an 11-week absence.

Vrana’s three-game conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins will now be extended.

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“Jakub is going to use the full two weeks, which I think is good,” Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “I think he felt good about his last game.”

Vrana, 26, had no points in his first three games for the Griffins, but registered seven shots on goal New Year’s Eve against the Milwaukee Admirals. He had nine shots total and was -5.

Vrana’s decision

The Griffins play at home Wednesday and Friday of this week. Vrana played his first game with the Griffins last Wednesday.

“I think ultimately Steve put it on him,” Lalonde said. “(It was) what he wanted to do and it’s a credit to him he wanted to get some more touches that way.”

Vrana entered the NHL/NHLPA Players Assistance Program in mid-October. He only played two games before leaving the team.  Coming into this season, Vrana was projected to be one of Detroit’s top scorers.  He has tallied 22 goals in his first 39 games with the Red Wings. He only played 26 games last season because of shoulder surgery. Vrana netted 13 goals in those 26 games.

Vrana is still considered one of Detroit’s 23 rosters players. This doesn’t buy them any time when it comes to taking someone off the roster to make room for Robby Fabbri who is expected to play Wednesday in Detroit’s home game against the New Jersey Devils. Fabbri hasn’t played this season because he was recovering from extensive surgery on his right know..