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Red Wings Send Jakub Vrana to the St. Louis Blues

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Jakub Vrana, Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings shipped Jakub Vrana to the St. Louis Blues for a seventh-round pick and center Dylan McLaughlin. The Red Wings retained 50% of Vrana’s $5.25 million salary for this season and next as an inducement for the Blues to take him.

It was an unceremonious end to a Red Wings career that started with such promise.

For the Red Wings, this was dumping a player no longer in their plans. For the Blues, this is rolling the dice on the hope of landing a dynamic goal scorer.

The Red Wings acquired Vrana, Richard Panik, along with the Washington Capitals’ first and second round picks, on April 12, 2021, in a deal for Anthony Mantha.  The Red Wings used the Caps’ first rounder to move up in the draft and draft goalie Sebastian Cossa. The second rounder turned into Dmitry Buchelnikov

Meanwhile, Vrana scored 21 goals in his first 37 games as a Red Wings player. Vrana has a scoring touch. But injuries have undermined his progress.

Coming into this season, Vrana was considered one of the team’s key goal scorers. But he entered the NHL/NHL Players Association Player Assistance Program in October after playing only two games.

Healthy Scratch

When he came out of the program, the Red Wings sent him to the Grand Rapids farm team for conditioning. Then, they waived him. After Vrana was unclaimed, the Red Wings assigned him to the Griffins. He was recalled three weeks ago amid speculation that the Red Wings would showcase him for a possible trade.  Vrana played only three games without registering a point.

Vrana has only played five NHL games all season.

He was a healthy scratch Thursday when the Red Wings lost 5-4 in overtime to the Seattle Kraken. The Red Wings wanted Vrana to work on his game to become a more complete player. It was clear they didn’t believe he was making enough progress.

McLaughlin is 27 and has never played an NHL game. The Red Wings agreed to keep him playing for the Springfield Thunderbirds.

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