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Knuble, now 40 years old, said in 2004 guys were already making plans to play in Europe. He spent that season with Linkoping and led the Swedish Elite League with 26 goals.

This time around? He’s waiting, along with many others, for something to get done.

“Everybody seems to be sitting pat and waiting around. It’s been kind of gradual. It’s kind of snuck up on everybody,” Knuble said. “It kind of snuck up on everybody and crept up slowly, but all of a sudden here we are, end of August and everybody’s seeing a deal is going to be hard to come by here.”

Halpern’s plan is to wait things out in New York with his teammates, though the Potomac, Md., native didn’t rule out changing gears and visiting friends back home if there’s a work stoppage.

Knuble doesn’t believe the owners and players will argue long enough to cost the NHL a full season, calling such a scenario “just absolutely crazy.” A wintertime start would be much more likely, giving the league at least enough time to put on the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.

Still, given that some players saw their careers end with the last lockout, Knuble knows that possibility exists.

“That’s reality. There’s no hiding from that,” he said. “As a player, there’s casualties all the time. The lockout I remember there were a lot of guys that became casualties and that was kind of the way it was. The longer it goes it’s probably worse off for the older guys, the longer it goes. If we miss a whole year, that’s pretty much a killer right here.”