The NHL has made some concessions in trying to salvage part of the season.
According to multiple reports Friday, the league has offered teams one compliance (some call it "amnesty") buyout before 2013-14, and has proposed allowing six-year contracts, an increase from the previous offer of five years. There was no change in a previous proposal in which teams could re-sign their own players to seven-year contracts.
The players want eight-year maximums on contracts.
In addition, the NHL included a provision that a salary can vary by 10 percent from year to year over the course of a contract, ESPN.com reported. The NHL had previously proposed a five percent variance each year.
The offers are contingent on the having a collective bargaining agreement in place by Jan. 11 and a 48-game season starting on Jan. 19.
The new deal would reportedly give teams a $70.2 million salary cap this season, but it would drop to around $60 million in 2013-14. The players' union is likely to protest the latter figure, saying it will greatly reduce salaries.
The owners still want a 10-year CBA, with both parties having a mutual opt-out after eight years.
In the compliance buyout, each team could make one such move before 2013-14, and the player's contract would not count against the cap, but would count against the players' 50 percent share of hockey-related revenue.