A 10 year CBA with a mutual option to end it in 8 years. I believe the PA wanted a 5 year deal. Agreed on the make whole which IMO has to be 100% of the signed contract. Should be a way they could take that outside the new CBA and force the franchises to make good.
I think the problem might be that the owners only offered to increase their "make whole" IF players agreed to a 10-year CBA which for some reason they don't want. That, to be honest, is a mystery to me. It's not like they ever get better for the players, so having a longer one seems like it would be in the players' interest. Still, it's a jerk move on the NHL's part to agree to "make whole" only part of the signed contracts (while still calling it "make whole"), putting some of it in pensions instead of lump payments and making it contingent on another unrelated factor.
But D-Money makes an excellent point. Maybe the players do believe they'll be able to get a better deal in a few years, especially if they have to agree to things like a term and variance contract limit to get this deal done. I'd love to know how long they want the CBA to be. IF the players want one around the same length of the last one they could be fighting over just a few years here, in which case it seems a little dumb for the NHL to be dragging their feet for an extra-long CBA anyway. Instead of asking for a longer CBA they could just try behaving like business-minded adults who don't just lockout players every time the old one expires instead of trying to work out a fair deal.
"It's not like it ever gets better for the players". I would suggest the players did very well under the old CBA. When it was signed it was the end of the world for the players. AT the end they were splitting $1.88 billion. I'm not suggesting the owners did that on purpose.