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BURYING THE HATCHET

The dustup last season between D Marek Malik and Rangers coach Tom Renney "was overblown by the media," Malik said.

New York's Daily News and Post reported in January that Malik, upset at previous benchings, refused to shake Renney's hand as the coach made the rounds of the locker room, as he generally does to acknowledge a victory. The papers reported at least one teammate got in Malik's face.

Malik, who spent the past three seasons in New York, declined to discuss specifics, opting to "keep that stuff in the locker room," except to say, "Me and Tom talked, basically, the next day and straightened things out. I wasn't trying to disrespect anybody. After a few days, I didn't think there were any problems."

Malik said he and Renney parted as "good friends. Nothing bad. That's from my standpoint. I hope Tom, too."

Weird coincidence

There was plenty of attention paid to D Dan Boyle's first game at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday night since his July 4 trade to the Sharks. But did you know D Matt Carle, whom Tampa Bay acquired in the deal, sits in Boyle's old locker stall at the Times Forum? That is the stall where a skate slipped off a hook above the locker and severed three tendons in Boyle's left wrist.

"I didn't know it was his stall," Carle said.

Joked Boyle: "Tell him to be careful."

Carle said he never worried about hanging his skates, a common locker room practice to facilitate drying, until he heard of Boyle's accident in September 2007.

"Now you're conscious of it when you put them up there," Carle said. "The equipment managers tell us to leave them on the floor, they'll put them up there."

Masked man

Last week we showed you the mask G Mike Smith is wearing in honor of Friday's release of Saw V, a movie produced by Lightning owners Oren Koules and Mark Burg. This week we show Olaf Kolzig's mask, designed by Paul Cena of Pro's Choice in Middleton, Mass. Both masks will be auctioned for charity

5 questions for

LW Matt Pettinger

Worst thing about the minors:

Three games in three nights.

Best thing you can cook:

Steak, medium, with some Montreal (Steak) Seasoning and a little olive oil.

Guilty pleasure at the mall:

Ice cream and Hugo Boss.

Band you'd like to be on stage with:

Nickelback

Actress you had a crush on growing up:

Demi Moore

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