Cross the city – The news is starting to look less promising regarding Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana.
Vrana injured his shoulder on Saturday about 10 minutes after starting his first practice at training camp. Coach Jeff Blashill said on Sunday Vrana would see a specialist on Monday for another opinion.
Blashill hopes to find out more, maybe by Tuesday.
âI’ll have more updates as I find more relevant information,â Blashill said.
One of the Wings’ real scorers, Vrana arrived late to training camp from Europe after struggling with his visa. He arrived at camp on Friday night, trained on Saturday, then injured himself.
Not having Vrana would be a big blow to the Wings’ lineup, already looking for an attack.
Vrana, who came from Washington as part of the deal for Anthony Mantha by the March trade deadline, quickly made an impression. He has eight goals and three assists (11 points) in 11 games with the Wings.
Vrana, 25, was a restricted free agent during the summer. He signed a three-year contract worth $ 15.75 million ($ 5.25 million in salary cap reached, per season) in August.
Blashill kept Vrana, Dylan Larkin and Marc Staal out of Sunday’s Red and White scrum. Not playing Larkin was part of the plan after suffering a neck injury in April.
Larkin skated and competed in the early days of training camp, but the Wings made sure Larkin avoided any major physical contact. Blashill has said Larkin may not play until the end of the week.
âWe have a progression that we are working on and part of that was not to put it in today’s game,â said Blashill. “Part of that doesn’t happen in those first exhibition games. But he’ll get in there eventually. I’d like to get him in probably three (games).
“I prefer that some of these veterans go into the second half (of the exhibition season) so that they can start from the start of the regular season.”
With seven defenders already in each roster on Sunday, Blashill didn’t feel the need for veteran Staal to play.
âStaal has been in this league for a long time, I just didn’t think there was a need to set him up,â said Blashill.
It was assumed that if Joe Veleno were to be part of the Wings’ opening night roster, he would likely be in the center. But Blashill isn’t ruling out the possibility of Veleno playing on the wing.
âObviously there are unforeseen things like injuries,â Blashill said. âLet’s see where this goes. The most important thing is that he has to declare every time he is on the ice that he is going to make us better.
“If (Veleno) is a much better player than some of the guys we anticipate at these places, and if we can find a place in the top nine, then that’s a discussion.”
Path for Ryan
In the camp of a professional try, forward Bobby Ryan is fighting for a place in the roster.
Ryan scored seven goals for the Wings last season before he was stopped by tricep surgery. An unrestricted free agent, he did not sign. The Wings felt Ryan had a positive influence on many young forwards in the roster, but few spots are available.
âBobby skates well,â said Blashill. âThere is always a way (to be part of the team). If you play good hockey there is always a way, so we’ll see.
“I certainly think there could be a way. He’s playing the same way he was moving at the start of last season. There hasn’t been any drop. He started last year and was able to be successful.”
Prospects forward Jonatan Berggren (upper body) and defenseman Jared McIsaac (concussion), both of whom were injured during the Under-21s tournament, are advancing, Blashill said. But either of them is unlikely to train until Tuesday at the earliest.