Three of New Zealand's most decorated hockey players are on the outer, less than six months out from the Rio Olympics.

It's understood the Black Sticks' most capped player Phil Burrows, long-time midfielder Steve Edwards and veteran defender Andy Hayward have missed out on national contracts.

They won't feature in the men's side's first matches of the year next month and their place in the overall pecking order will be confirmed when the Black Stick squads are finally released next week.

There's still a chance the trio could earn a trip to Rio, but now barring injuries, it's unlikely.