Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana missed the team’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. The team listed him as being out for “personal reasons.” There was no official timetable for his return, but it doesn’t seem like the Czechian forward will return any time soon.
The NHL and NHLPA announced Wednesday they have placed Vrana in the player’s assistance program. He will be out indefinitely but will continue to get paid as he receives the care he needs.
The NHL and NHLPA began the player’s assistance program in 1996. The program is jointly funded, and helps players with mental health care and substance abuse, among other matters.
Detroit released a statement on Wednesday night regarding their forward. “The Detroit Red Wings are aware that Jakub Vrana has been placed in the NHL and NHLPA’s Player Assistance Program, and that he will be out indefinitely. The Red Wings will have no further comment on this matter.”
Observant Red Wings fans noticed Vrana had been removed from the team’s online roster. Team beat writer Max Bultman noted on Twitter that, according to the CBA, a team can designate a player as non-roster if they are away for any reason besides illness, injury, or disability.
The Red Wings are off to a nice start to the season, winning their first two games before their loss Monday night. However, Vrana is not the only impactful forward the team is without now. Tyler Bertuzzi will miss four to six weeks with an upper-body injury.
The Wings put in an impressive performance despite the loss without these two important players. Detroit looks to get back into the win column on Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks.