(CP) - Picture an NHL without Mark Messier, Chris Chelios, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, Dave Andreychuk, Brett Hull, Scott Stevens, Steve Yzerman and Luc Robitaille.
Oh, and Mario Lemieux.
Six of them are captains, and all of them have worn the `C' at one point in their careers.
Those are just some of the aging stars that may not be around if the NHL lockout wipes out this season and maybe next.
Time is running out to salvage a season this year. The NHL and NHL Players' Association haven't held meetings since Dec. 14 although there's talk something could happen this week.
In the meantime, a large group of veteran NHL players sit and wait. In all, there are 119 active NHLers who are 34 and older, their twilight years seriously affected if there's no hockey for up to two years.
Stevens, 40, was limited to 38 games last season with the New Jersey Devils because of a serious concussion. He indicated last season that if a lockout wiped out all of this year that would maybe influence his decision regarding retirement.
Stevens, first all-time among defencemen in regular-season games played (1,635), was slated to earn $6.916 million this season, the last year of his deal.