Lundqvist has rolled with the ups and downs of the lockout that began in September, when the previous collective bargaining agreement between the players' association and the NHL expired. He hasn't signed up to play in Europe or anywhere else, but if a deal isn't reached soon, he might have to change his plans.
He just never thought the lockout would be going on this long.
"It's important that we try to give back to different communities and to the fans, but to us players, we miss the game a lot. We do," Lundqvist said. "This is our lives. There is a business side to this sport; there is no way around it. When it comes down to just playing the game, I miss the lifestyle, I miss traveling and playing the games and having the adrenaline.
"It's just such a big part of my life. It's definitely been a weird two months here not having that. That's why it's a lot of fun to get together and play the game."
The NHL generated record revenues of $3.3 billion last season when Lundqvist and the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference finals. Instead of being back on the ice to shoot for another run at the Stanley Cup, the star goalie is in a holding pattern he can't escape.
"I have all the emotions," Lundqvist said. "I have some anger, disappointment, some embarrassment, too. I understand that the fans are disappointed, and it's hard to explain the whole situation. I don't think a lot of people know all the details and how much we really sacrificed to try to come closer to the owners. It doesn't really matter. They deserve the game out there to be played right now. I definitely feel a little embarrassment that we can't figure it out sooner."