Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana enters NHL/NHLPA player assistance program

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana has been placed in NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, the team and league revealed Wednesday.

Vrana had been excused from the Wings since Monday, for what head coach Derek Lalonde said were personal reasons. Vrana, 26, will be unavailable to the team “for an indefinite period while he receives care.”

Under the terms of the joint program, Vrana will continue to be paid while receiving treatment. He will return to the Red Wings when cleared for on-ice competition by program administrators. Vrana’s care will be administered pursuant to the program.

Vrana has a goal and two assists in two games this season. He is a top-six winger who plays a key role in the team’s offense. The Wings are also without top-line winger Tyler Bertuzzi, who is out 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury sustained when he was hit by a puck in what appeared to be his right hand. Robby Fabbri, another top-six forward, had surgery in the offseason and is not expected to return before mid-January.

In the first game without Vrana, Filip Zadina played in his spot next to Andrew Copp and David Perron. Should the Red Wings decide they need to call someone up, one candidate is Jonatan Berggren, a skilled prospect who showed well in preseason games.

The Wings (2-0-1) next play Friday at the Chicago Blackhawks.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

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