The NHL owners and the Players Association have been speaking at recent negotiating sessions over revenue sharing among the teams as well as the "make whole" provision. That provision involves the full payment of players that are currently under contract with the NHL regardless of how the revenues are split. There is cautious optimism among both sides at these meetings that a deal can get done.
Honoring current contracts has become the one of the most important issues for the players. Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier believes that the owners should stay to their word and pay the players for what they signed for:
"You sign a deal, the honorable thing to do is keep your word. That was something that was a huge discussion (among the players) and with everybody."
The league's proposal of the revenue sharing reduces the players share to 50 percent. Reportedly, that would reduce player salaries immediately by 12 percent. The league originally proposed the "make whole" provision to pay back the players over the term of a new labor deal, but players rejected this notion saying that the reimbursement would come from their revenue, essentially forcing the players to pay themselves. Last week, the NHL said it would absorb part or all of the reimbursement, according to reports.