What is Red Wings’ next move with Jakub Vrana, Alex Nedeljkovic?

Alex Nedeljkovic's tenure in Grand Rapids has been a productive one. Jakub does not belong to Vrana.

Nedeljkovic will be back with the Detroit Red Wings this week or next. The sore likely won't be back, at least anytime soon,

 even with the offense the team needs (four goals during a three-game losing streak).

Vrna has struggled with the Griffins (no goals, one assist, minus-6 in six games), and Red Wings coach Derek

 Lalonde said after Friday's game that, if he can't produce in the AHL, He's not ready for the NHL.

"There is hope for Varana," Lalonde said. "Right now, he has zero goals in six games in Grand Rapids. 

Theoretically, it's easy to say when you're not scoring, but any goal-scorer's ability is something you expect. .

Even if Vrans was lighting it up in Grand Rapids, would the Red Wings bring him back?

General manager Steve Yzerman surprisingly waived Vrna last Tuesday when the team needed a roster spot to activate Robbie Fabbri.

 Vrna spent more than two months in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, which expired on 16 December.

The decision said a lot about how far their relationship had deteriorated that they were prepared to lose a proven scorer when other options were available 

(sending off a waiver-exempt player like Elmer Soderblom – who was again on Sunday was appointed, or Adam Erne was waived) or Magnus Helberg).

It also pointed out how far Vran's stock had fallen that no team was willing to pick him up for the full cost of his contract (the remainder of this season and one more year at a $5.25 million cap hit

Vran is only 26 but clearly doesn't fit into the Red Wings' future plans.

Now it appears this saga will only end with a trade, and it won't be easy for the player who cleared waivers. Lower-tier teams whose front 

offices focus more on winning the Connor Bedard draft lottery won't be interested. Some playoff-caliber teams don't have cap space.


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