OK, so here’s what we know:
We know Marek Malik skated today. We know he had a talk with Tom Renney and his teammates before practice and we know, by all outside indications at least, that the team is trying to put the events of last week behind it.
What we don’t know, of course, is whether this is all window dressing and that Malik’s days with the team are still numbered. Nor do we know whether he has been internally disciplined by the team. Neither scenario is much of a stretch.
Malik spoke for five minutes to a bunch of us. He said he was unhappy that his intentional snub last week, when he refused to shake Renney’s hand after Tuesday’s win, somehow was made public. But he said the whole thing was not about trying to disrespect anyone.
“The only thing I can tell you guys is my gesture or statement when I didn’t shake Tom’s hand wasn’t anything personal about anybody on this team, the coaches, the organization, or my teammates” he said “It was just my personal statement about my situation here. But it was not to disrespect anyone.”
Of course, that’s the way it was interpreted, so Malik may still have some work to do in winning back the affections of his teammates. But the defenseman did say he would play the part of loyal soldier moving forward.
â€œObviously Iâ€™m not happy right now going in and out of the lineup,â€ he said. â€œBut until Iâ€™m (not) going to be here or Iâ€™m done here or retire or get traded, Iâ€™m just going to do my best. Iâ€™m not going to be happy that Iâ€™m not in the lineup. But when I am in the lineup, Iâ€™m just going to work hard and play my best. And when Iâ€™m not in the lineup, Iâ€™m just to do my best for the organization and my teammates.â€
Again, it’s all open for interpretation. It doesn’t do Malik much good to continue to voice his frustration, just as it probably doesn’t do Renney and the Rangers much good to try to downplay the incident as much as possible.