The Washington Capitals traded Jakub Vrana on Monday. The deal has not just been a difficult deal for many Capitals fans to process. It’s also been hard for many players.
“He’s a nice person,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said during his press conference.
Despite only being 25, Vrana has been a presence in Washington for nearly a decade. First drafted in 2013, Vrana dazzled during development camps with his stickhandling, put up tantalizing numbers abroad and in the AHL, and eventually became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. That year, Vrana helped the Capitals win their first-ever Stanley Cup, scoring in the championship-clinching Game Five. His championship tattoos and Instagram Stories from the celebration are the stuff of legend.
Vrana’s optimism, talent, and creativity grabbed our attention. His kindness and friendship with his teammates will make him hard to forget.
Oshie, who was featured on a I love you, man t-shirt with Vrana last season to celebrate their bromance, tweeted to his former teammate that “It’s been fun watching you grow Liney! @DetroitRedWings your [so sic] getting a good kid and a great player. Good luck @VranaJakub. I’ll miss you buddy.”
— TJ Oshie (@TJOshie77) April 12, 2021
Here are some fun links that capture their special friendship:
Tom Wilson posted two photos with Jakub while celebrating the team’s Stanley Cup championship. “What a great run by your side brother, best of luck in the next chapter!! #OTH”
Kempny posted a photo of himself, Vrana, and Jakub Jerabek holding the Stanley Cup together. All three players were of Czech descent. “The worst part about trades is to see go one of your favorite people on your team whom you can actually call a good friend,” Kempny wrote. “What a great memories we got together that I will never forget I’m going to miss you big time and I wish you good luck in your next chapter. See you in 🇨🇿 @jakubvrana”
Kempny and Vrana worked out together over the offseason. Recently, Kempny had Jakub meet his newborn son Adam. He called him Uncle V.
Finally, Vitek Vanecek tugged at our heartstrings. “Thank you for amazing 6 years, you stand by my side, you was helping me when I need, it was great time with you! I wish you good luck! I already miss you bro 🤍”
Vrana translated for Vanecek when he first arrived in DC and the two are best friends.
Other tributes include:
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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