The Detroit Red Wings are in a bit of a slump. After a promising start to the season, the team has now lost four straight games and is looking to get back in the win column.
The National Hockey League announced the reinstatement of Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana from the player assistance program. The 26-year-old returned to Red Wings practice Friday, wearing a blue non-contact jersey.
The Red Wings forward spoke to the media for the first time since his admission into the assistance program. “For me personally, I don’t feel like sharing anything [about why I was in the program]. It’s my personal reasons,” Vrana told reporters.
“There’s bigger things than hockey in life. You’re going to deal with some things that are bigger than hockey or whatever it could be. It’s important to make that decision [before] it’s too late,” Vrana continued.
The Red Wings forward entered the program after appearing in the first two games of the season. The player’s assistance program provides care for anything ranging from mental health issues to substance abuse.
Vrana has only been with Detroit for a short time, but has made a huge impact. Detroit acquired the 26-year-old at the 2021 trade deadline from the Washington Capitals. He had eight goals in 11 games after the deal.
Last season, he was limited to 26 games after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. He scored 13 goals in those 26 games following his return.
The Red Wings are in need of a spark as they’ve gone on a slide in recent games. Vrana’s return should provide a major boost to the team’s offense when he steps back onto the ice.