When the Detroit Red Wings put Jakub Vrana
on waivers, it shook the hockey world.
Vrana, who was almost a PPG last season, was in the NHLPA's player assistance programme for more than two months. Almost soon after his return, he was waived, and after going unclaimed, he was assigned to Grand Rapids, Detroit's AHL affiliate.
A reporter thought back on his conversation with General Yzerman and came up with the following justification:
I remember a few years ago doing an interview with Steve Yzerman (still a player at the time), talking about opportunities being «deserved." The move was jarring when I first saw it, but the more I thought about it, the more I got it.
Vrana's struggled in his return to the AHL, while some of Detroit's younger players, particularly, Jonatan Berggren
, grabbed the NHL opportunity. Head coach Derek Lalonde initially said he wanted to keep his young players in the lineup when Robby Fabbri
returned, but the final decision was his GM's. Yzerman's a big believer in playing those who deserve to play. And, when you're trying to build yourself into a winner, you have to stick to that.
Hopefully Vrana can find his way back and perform for his new team.
Source: Blade of Steel