Vrana, 25, just signed a new three-year, $15.75MM contract with the Red Wings last month after going on a tear down the stretch. Acquired from the Washington Capitals as part of the return for Anthony Mantha, the young forward had eight goals and 11 points in 11 games for the Red Wings. With the team still turning the corner on their rebuild, Vrana was one of the team’s most dangerous offensive weapons and will leave a huge hole in the lineup as he recovers from this surgery.
In fact, for a team that was just hoping to be competitive, losing Vrana could very well put them in the running for the 2022 Draft Lottery once again. It’s not that he’s the only effective player on the roster, but it’s hard to see how the Red Wings are going to be dangerous enough offensively to compete most nights without their second-highest paid forward. His absence of course will open the door for another young player to step up, but this is about as bad as it gets for the Red Wings.
There will be no need to move Vrana to long-term injured reserve, as the Red Wings are nowhere near the salary cap upper limit. He’ll move to regular IR as he works through this recovery, hopefully returning before the end of the season. Four months from today would be the end of January, though coach Blashill said it would be at least that long.