A look at 4 former Red Wings that are struggling so far in 2023

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Jakub Vrana, Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

Jakub Vrana hasn’t fared much better in St. Louis than he did with the Red Wings

You know the story. The Detroit Red Wings landed the skillful winger from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Anthony Mantha. Ironically, both players continue to struggle for their respective organizations.

Steve Yzerman chose to cut ties with the scoring forward after a couple of odd situations during his time with the Detroit Red Wings. At the trade deadline, he sent Jakub Vrana to his good buddy Doug Armstrong and the St. Louis Blues for essentially a bag of pucks. Detroit received a seventh-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft along with AHL lifer Dylan McLaughlin, whom the Red Wings allowed to remain with his AHL team on a loan basis. McLaughlin is now inactive. Detroit also retained 50% of Vrana’s salary, meaning they are paying him $2.625 million this season to play for the Blues.

So far this season, Vrana has found himself a healthy scratch a couple of times. Blues head coach Craig Berube had been trying to send a message trying to get more out of his talented yet fragile forward.

"“Sometimes you’ve got to watch and learn from it, and hopefully he’s better,” Berube said. “That is what you’ve got to do sometimes. It’s the hard part of the job, and it’s the hard part on the player, too. “We just need a response. That’s up to him. In the end, he’s a talented guy that can score goals for us and be a good player for us: power play and five-on-five. But you’ve got to work. You’ve got to work.”"

Through nine games this season, Vrana has recorded one goal and four points but only plays just over 12 minutes per night when dressed. He’s in a cold slump, having recorded one assist over his past six contests.