Russia puts out welcome mat for Emery

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Ray Emery is welcome back in Russia next season.

Emery has received a ringing endorsement from his coach in Russia. Speaking to a website called TheFourthPeriod.com, Mystischi Atlant coach Fedor Kanareikin said he was pleased with Emery, who finished with a 22-8-0 record, 2.12 GAA and a .926 save percentage in the Kontinental Hockey League.

"I would like to say that I was overall satisfied with the job Emery did here," Kanareikin said. "There were some great games for him. There were others when I felt that he didn't do enough. He is a good goaltender. I would just like him to be more consistent in his work."

He added he'd love to have Emery back.

"Of course, I would be very interested to work with him again," said Kanareikin. "He has a lot left in store. And if he comes here for his second year, the work will be different. Because he adjusted, he knows our system, and he started to understand Russian a little bit. That's why I think his game will improve."

COLES NOTES

It was easy for Erik Cole to make himself right at home after the NHL trade deadline. Dealt back to the Carolina Hurricanes by the Edmonton Oilers in a complicated three-way deal that involved the Los Angeles Kings, Cole, 30, was surprised to be moved, but welcomed the fact he was able to move back into the home he kept here. Traded to the Oilers by Carolina on July 1, 2008, in exchange for D Joni Pitkanen, Cole looks as if he never really left. He's been comfortable playing on a line with Eric Staal and Tuomo Ruutu and they're a big reason why the Hurricanes have been winning. "There's some new faces and a new coach, but one that I know quite well," said Cole, who won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006. "I've played for (coach) Paul (Maurice) before, so it's been pretty easy to come back. It's such a great group of guys and great players. It's been pretty seamless. It was surprising for sure. With the situation that Edmonton was in, and just how tight the race was in the Western Conference, when I got to the hotel, we went out for lunch because we figured we weren't making any moves. I thought we were staying with what we had." Maurice said he didn't have to have a long talk with Cole. "It was a short conversation, 'Welcome back and this is the game we'd like you to play.' I don't even know if it was that detailed," said Maurice. "When you make a trade (at the) deadline, aside from the player, your concern is, 'How is this player going to fit?' Well, none of those concerns were here. He still had his house. Four days after the trade, his family was back into their normal routine. That's a huge advantage for our team."

OFF THE GLASS

One player who has taken his game to another level for the 'Canes is Staal. Maurice said Staal deserves consideration for Canada's 2010 Olympic team. "I didn't see his name in any of the polls very often early on. I would say this: He's a very good player with a Stanley Cup ring and I think that puts you in the loop," said Maurice. "He just has just developed into a very consistent performer and I think the defensive side of his game has rounded out a little bit." ... Senators RW Ryan Shannon played with Hurricanes RW Patrick Eaves at Boston College in 2004-05. "He was my centre," said Eaves, who was dealt to the Hurricanes by the Senators along with D Joe Corvo in exchange for LW Cory Stillman and D Mike Commodore last season. And the similarities don't end there: Eaves and Shannon will be married on the same day in July. Eaves is planning a pretty exotic honeymoon, toying with the idea of going Bora, Bora.

THE MORNING SKATE

The Ruutu boys -- Ottawa LW Jarrko and Carolina C Tuomo -- got together for dinner Tuesday. "We just hung out at my place," said Tuomo before last night's game in Carolina. While Tuomo enjoys seeing his brother Jarrko, the skilled forward doesn't actually enjoy playing against him. "It's kind of weird. It's kind of fun, but kind of weird because you want him to do well and score goals. At the same time, you want your own team to win. It kind of gives you mixed feelings. He's a good friend of mine, but I still hope we're going to win," said Tuomo. Since Jarrko, 33, is seven years older than the 26-year-old Tuomo, he noted they never fought when they were kids. "He's too old for me. I was still at home and he was somewhere else (playing hockey)," said Tuomo.

AROUND THE BOARDS

Don "Mr. Cheapseats" Brennan, on a golf vacation in the area (which is why the quality of this column has slipped so badly), just sent a note saying he's going to take "a turkey leg" to his seat. Trying to find one of those at the concessions in Ottawa ... Maurice had lots of praise for the Senators. "They're just skating better, more than anything else. They've got a lot more forward motion in their game and they're playing their best hockey," said Maurice. "This is an unusual team for us because usually when you play a team that is out of the playoffs, they've got one star. This is the one team that's got a bunch of high- end guys that aren't playing with the pressure of one mistake. If they tighten the gap (in the standings), I think the pressure comes back. We've all seen teams that have suffered through the death of their season. They go through a mourning period and then they come out and run and gun and away they go. The difference here is this team has a lot of talent."

PARTING SHOT

Carolina LW Jussi Jokinen looked like a pretty good soccer player kicking that puck by Ottawa G Brian Elliott in the first.


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