I still can't get my head around the players (PA's) mindset on one issue.
The owners are offerring them 50%. But the players want fixed dollar amounts with guaranteed increases. If the league stumbles and the players get that, then the owners are screwed and lose out, so obviously they [the owners] aren't going to go for that. If the league maintains and it's current level of revenue then the players are getting half. More than fair. If the league, for some unfathomable reason at this point, suddenly took off and revenues exploded, then the players could be getting well under 50%, so come next CBA they will be pissed and want a bigger piece of the pie.....which the owners won't want to give up at that point. But maintaining 50/50 the players stand to gain from any increase in revenue, and the players can help make that happen by putting on the best show they can and by making their real employers, the fans, happy.
If that is the sticking point for the owners, then the players are beyond unreasonable if they won't accept a 50/50 deal. All I've heard from players and Fehr is that the PA wants to work with the league and make this happen and better the game and the league and be "partners" with the owners in growing the NHL as a product. Refusing a 50/50 deal where both sides share the same risks and reap the same benefits is kind of contrary to that.
For the owners part, if the PA is hung up over the "make whole" plan, then just bite the bullet you signed your name on and honor the deal contracts. You don't have to roll them back or worry about future contracts. Just grandfather the existing contracts in and deal with it. Let them count against the cap for each team as the maximum allowable under the new system. The rest is just paid out and counted outside the cap. To me that is a no-brainer.
When it comes to contract lengths and max salaries, well I'm on the owners side still. They can decide what they want to do with their money and who they want to give it to and for how long. If you are a player in this situation then you simply have to be good enough to make it. That's the bottom line and it is a fair expectation. If you want to earn the league max you better perform to that level or you won't be earning it anymore once your contract is up. Damn it anyways if you make $30M over 5 years and then have to worry about how much you'll get for the next 5 years after that......GASP!!! It might only be $27M. Well clearly that's not enough to live on!
As for the pensions and shit.....ummm.....helloooo.....you just made more money in a 10 year career than the average person is going to make in their entire life. If you invested a tenth of it wisely you are going to draw more of a pension from interest than most people will get from their actual pension plans. I'm not OK with government officials getting the pensions they are "entitled to", definitely not going to be OK with a hockey player griping about not getting enough of a pension.
I've rambled again. Just can't get my head around the kind of greed that is passing around between the two parties involved here.