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Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Red Wings, F Jakub Vrana Avoid Arbitration With Three-Year Contract Extension

With arbitration hearings set to begin across the NHL Wednesday, the Detroit Red Wings were up against clock to find a resolution with restricted free agent Jakub Vrana, and that’s exactly what they’ve done, as both sides have agreed to a three-year contract extension.

Thanks to this last-minute deal, the Red Wings and Vrana, 25, have avoided arbitration with this new contract that runs through 2023-24, which comes with a $5.25 million cap hit per season, according to PuckPedia.com.

On Monday, Detroit’s front office and Vrana reportedly exchanged financials, although they remained $2.05 million apart, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. But luckily, they were able to bridge the gap over a multi-year deal, keeping the 2018 Stanley Cup champion in red and white for at least the next three seasons.

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But once this contract expires, the former first-round selection will become eligible for unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career, potentially allowing him to reach the open market.

After spending the first four and a half seasons of his NHL career with the Washington Capitals, Vrana was included in a package that sent former Red Wing Anthony Mantha the other way at last season’s trade deadline. Despite being considered a secondary scorer in the Nation’s Capital, the left-hander assumed a larger role with his new team and excelled in that spot down the stretch.

Making the most of his increased opportunity, the Czech Republic native averaged a career-high 17:16 minutes of ice time, producing eight goals, 11 points, 32 shots on goal, five takeaways, four blocks, three hits and he also won two of his four faceoff chances through 11 games with Detroit.

The Red Wings’ first preseason game is set for Sep. 29 against the Chicago Blackhawks.