Urho Vaakanainen was billed as a smooth-skating, solid defenseman when the Bruins selected him in the middle of the first round in last month’s draft. That’s exactly what the 18-year-old D-man put on display at his first chance to participate in Bruins Development Camp earlier this month as one of the younger players taking his first paces with the B’s organization. Vaakanainen skated with ease and smoothness and didn’t have much in the way of panic when he was breaking the puck out of the zone during workouts. To be sure, it was clear that many of the tools are there for the Finnish prospect. Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley had likened him to Hall of Famer Paul Coffey for his skating ability
The Pittsburgh Penguins have two arbitration hearings scheduled with restricted free agents (Brian Dumoulin and Conor Sheary) over the next few weeks, and on Saturday we found out some of the numbers being thrown around for one of them. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has the arbitration numbers for Dumoulin, with the defender asking for $4.35 million, while the team is offering $1.95 million. Dumoulin has to know he is not going to get $4.35 million, while the Penguins have to know they are probably going to have to pay more than $1.95 million to get him re-signed.
Leslie Alexander’s decision to sell the NBA’s Rockets has revived hope for a hockey team in Houston. Without getting into all the details, he’s essentially been the only one who could bring an NHL franchise to the city.