In response to ipotnyc's comment:
dez - With my partial legal background (still have a semester left on law school, 11 years and running ;)), it essentially is one of these areas in which "good faith" comes in. I don't have the baic contract in front of me, but it really comes down to an issue of agents/lawyers taking advantage of players who essentially just know hockey. Sounds silly, I know, but this happens in showbiz all the time - actors, directors, musicians, etc. - find out much later how much they could have earned. Call it a case of "collusion" between lawyers on both sides, but it's really what it is. Everyone's doing the wink-wink behind players' backs.
Secondly, the owners KNOW that the players have litte options of making big bucks outside of playing hockey in the NHL. (no, the KHL will not lavish those kind of deals) AND any smart owner is NOT operating with his/her NHL franchise as the sole source of income. Jacobs owns Delaware North; the Bs are a small part of his empire.
Like biggskye insinuates: "ya gotta read the fine print, then tell your agent/attorney 'w-t-heck is this clause here?'"
With new broadcasting deals in NA markets and owners willing to pay has-been's 14 million a season, the KHL can most certainly afford big contracts for top talent. That's why the owners need to wise up and realize this isn't 2004 anymore and sign the deal Fehr placed in front of them today.