The NHL lockout has lasted more than a month and a key Thursday deadline looms for the league to hold a full season. What needs to happen for the lockout to end?
1. Individual contracts have to be honored
Players are more unified on this issue than they were about preventing a salary cap in 2004-05. It has become a rallying cry, a symbol of solidarity, and owners have no one to blame but themselves. Teams were way too eager to sign players to long-term deals this summer (such as the 13-year, $98 million deals to new Minnesota Wild teammates Zach Parise and Ryan Suter), and now the impression is that they signed those players believing the deals would be reduced by the new labor agreement. Does that seem like good-faith bargaining? Any new collective bargaining agreement will have to include real protection for those contracts. That means it will have to have minimal salary rollback in the first couple of seasons.