One of the biggest issues for NHL players during the work stoppage isn't necessarily just the fact that they need to get paid and want to continue playing hockey. There's also the fact that to get paid and play hockey, they'll have to either be without their families while they head overseas, or potentially uproot their children and take them with them to play in the various leagues. Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is dealing with this dilemma now.
Sharp talked about this tough decision with the Chicago Tribune:
"I'm in a situation where you need to take it day-by-day and week-by-week. I want to keep my skills sharp. I'm 30 years old and I love playing the game and want to play as much as I can. I've had some contact with friends over in Europe and there's a chance I can go. (But) with a young baby and new family it's still a little early to make that decision."
Many players around the league have already signed contracts to play overseas, while others are still biding their time, hoping for the issues between the league and the Players' Association to be settled before the season is canceled. As it stands, only preseason games have been axed from the schedule, so there is still a little bit of hope.
Both sides are set to re-open negotiations on Friday, but by all accounts, both sides are still going to be sticking to their guns as far as the dollar amounts are concerned. This being, you know, planet Earth and all, those are the only things that really matter when it comes to a work stoppage like this one.