Red Wings waive Jakub Vrana in surprise move

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The Red Wings have made a surprise move to clear a roster spot for Robby Fabbri, who's set to make his season debut Wednesday night: they have placed forward Jakub Vrana on waivers, according to Elliotte Friedman.

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Vrana, who recently spent two months in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program to treat an unspecified off-ice issue, had begun an AHL conditioning stint with Grand Rapids last week and was expected to return to the Wings' lineup in the near future.

Now he's up for grabs across the league.

Given his apparent off-ice troubles and $5.25 million cap hit, there's a chance Vrana goes unclaimed over the next 24 hours and stays with Detroit. But his offensive talent will have widespread appeal.

When healthy, the 26-year-old has been one of the NHL's most potent goal-scorers over the past three seasons. He has 22 goals in 39 career games with the Wings.

Detroit needed to clear room on its roster for Fabbri, who's slated to return to the lineup Wednesday against the Devils after recovering from a torn ACL. It accomplished that goal by waiving Vrana, but also put itself at risk of losing a talented player.

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