Source: NHL willing to fund provision

Updated: November 2, 2012, 10:14 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

The NHL has communicated to the NHLPA a willingness to fund a healthy portion of the "Make Whole" provision to honor all existing contracts, a source close to the talks told ESPN.com.

In the meantime, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr will meet Saturday in and undisclosed location to resume bargaining talks, sources on both sides told ESPN.com.

The problem in the original "Make Whole" provision, at least from an NHLPA perspective, is that it involved players paying back other players via deferred payments. The NHLPA countered in one of its proposals by suggesting the league and owners fully fund the "Make Whole" part.

In what appears to be a sign that the league is willing to be flexible in order to inch forward in what has been a labor stalemate over the past few weeks, a source said the league is willing to supply money to allow "Make Whole" to work for the players.

It would appear the league and the players would need to identify and agree on the amount and method of payment, and it would also be contingent on both sides coming to an agreement on numerous other elements in the framework of the rest of the proposal, such as player contract changes.