Red Wings News & Rumors: Vrana, Stecher, Rookies & More

There have been many prevailing narratives surrounding the Detroit Red Wings since the start of the 2021-22 season, but two have really stood out as the season has progressed.

  1. Boy, the Red Wings’ rookies really have transformed this team.
  2. Imagine where the Red Wings would be if forward Jakub Vrana were with the team to start the season.

Today’s news and rumors addresses both narratives as we’re starting to see glimmers of hope that the Czech forward is on his way back to the lineup, and both Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider were the topic of a recent team-produced video that is sure to give fans that warm, fuzzy feeling. Let’s dive in.

Vrana Speaks About Recovery Time

Vrana has recently been skating in a non-contact jersey during practice. While he won’t be considered “close” to returning until he is wearing a contact jersey, seeing him out on the ice is enough to get excited about what the offensive winger might bring to the lineup once he returns.

Related: Red Wings’ Vrana Poised to Make an Impact Upon Return

“There’s zero doubt that he’s one of the most talented players that we have,” Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill said on Tuesday. “If he comes in, we understand that’s a big piece offensively, which always helps.” The coach also noted that Vrana’s biggest challenge upon his return will be being a “complete” player; as much as the Red Wings could use more scoring, they also need to make sure that players aren’t taking shortcuts defensively, and Vrana will be a part of that focus.

Jakub Vrana Detroit Red Wings
Jakub Vrana, Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Speaking on Tuesday to the media, Vrana seemed in good spirits when talking about his recovery time and his eagerness to get back out on the ice.

“I’m getting there,” Vrana said of his recovery progress. “I feel great. We have a time window and we’re getting there.” He also noted that he’s still set to see a doctor sometime this month to assess the state of his shoulder to determine whether or not he can start taking contact in practice.

As for how excited he is to start playing again:

“For sure (I want to play). I’ve been out for a while. Physically, I feel great; mentally, I’ve been watching a lot of hockey games, so I’m really excited to get back at it.”

After scoring eight goals and putting up 11 points through 11 games after joining the Red Wings last season after the trade deadline, Vrana was sidelined mere minutes into training camp, and he eventually needed surgery to repair an ailment with his shoulder. The initial timeline for recovery placed his return right around mid to late February, so hearing him say that he feels good has to be seen as a positive sign. We should know in a week or two if and when he will return to Detroit’s lineup.

Stecher Wearing Contact Jersey

After going down with a wrist injury in November, 27-year-old defenseman Troy Stecher joined Vrana as both players were projected to return in mind to late February. The pair were seen together last week at practice, both wearing non-contact jerseys. The Czech winger even spoke about recovering together.

“Me and Stech, we were on the same schedule for a while. It’s going to feel nice to (for) me (to be) back out there, but also see him…I’m going to be really happy to for him as well….He seems confident in his game again.”

Troy Stecher Detroit Red Wings
Troy Stecher, Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Blashill noted that Stecher was getting physical in practice on Tuesday, wasting no time trying to get back up to game speed. The defenseman hasn’t played in over three months now, and is currently in the final year of the two-year pact he signed with the Red Wings during the 2020 offseason. With financial and career considerations like that on the line, you can bet that the British Columbia native is eager to hit the ice again and start making a difference for Detroit.

In six games this season, Stecher has one point and has a plus/minus rating of plus-1. Last season with the Red Wings, he had 11 points through 44 games.

Seider, Raymond Highlighted in “The Winged Wheel”

The Red Wings’ YouTube channel produces a series called “The Winged Wheel” which offers an inside look at the team and includes interviews and footage that you wouldn’t find otherwise. The newest episode follows rookies Seider and Raymond and how they’re acclimating to life in the NHL while also making such an impact on the Red Wings.

Perhaps the biggest takeaways from this episode are Seider calling Detroit “home”, and the duo agreeing that having each other on the team has helped them through their respective rookie seasons. This makes sense – it’s a tough thing to be a young adult playing professional sports in a foreign country for the first time, but it’s a lot easier if there’s somebody there with you that is going through more or less the exact same thing.

It seems safe to say that Seider and Raymond are going to be lumped together for a long time to come.

More….

  • Dylan Larkin participated in the 2022 All-Star Game in Las Vegas where he represented the Red Wings for the Atlantic Division. During the 3-on-3 matchup against the Central Division, he tied with Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin for the most ice-time (7:41), but he and Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki were the only Atlantic players to go without a point during the exhibition match. Prior to the game, Larkin finished seventh out of eight participants in the “Fastest Skater” competition. St. Louis Blues forward Jordan Kyrou won the event.

ICYMI


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