New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider said some players are growing more concerned about the NHL season resuming as the hiatus drags on.
The 2019-20 NHL campaign was suspended on March 12 and it remains to be seen when, and if, the season will restart amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There were 189 regular-season games remaining when the league came to a halt because of COVID-19, which has killed more than 319,200 people globally.
Schneider – an All-Star in 2016 – told reporters via a video conference call on Monday: "I think that's everyone's concern right now.
"It's a lot of guys asking is there a drop-dead date? What's the date that it's just too late, that you can get a semblance of a season or a playoff."
The league had already said teams would need about three weeks of training before playing games, which means at this point the season would not resume until mid-June at the earliest.
Mid-June is usually when the Stanley Cup champions are crowned.
"I understand it from both sides," Schneider said. "We just have to weigh what's the most doable, what makes the most sense, even though it may not be what the players wanted or what the teams want."
Even Schneider does not know for sure what he wants.
When the season was postponed back in March, the Devils were 28-29-12 and out of the playoff picture.
Schneider questioned whether it is really worthwhile to even come back to play a handful of meaningless games in what will likely be arenas without fans.
The 12-year veteran, however, also sees some benefit to returning to play. If the coronavirus pandemic continues to linger and pushes back the start of the 2020-21 season, players would fall out of game-shape and get rusty during the lengthy break.
"Is it worth it for us to spend five, six weeks to do something that ultimately won't matter?" Schneider said. "Personally, I would like to at least get out and get that feeling again. Nine or 10 months is a long time to not have played a game and not really ramp it up in that sense. My hope is that we get a chance to come back and play."