NHL bosses and players are attempting to agree a new collective bargaining agreement [CBA] before the current one expires in September.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said a new TV deal and possible rule changes to boost scoring would mean little unless a settlement is reached.
"I know what our problems are, and I believe the union knows what the problems are," he said.
If a new agreement cannot be brokered, the 2004-05 NHL season is under threat.
Several players in St Paul for this weekend's mid-season All-Star Game have said their union is prepared to strike to get the terms it wants.
But Bettman denied claims by some players that the league has proposed a so-called hard salary cap of $31m for each teams.
He claimed the NHL has only suggested a system that links revenues and player salaries.
Bettman added: "We know the magnitude of our losses and we know the situation can be fixed. We want to make a deal that addresses the issues that confront this game."
Away from the CBA issue, the NHL is, during the off-season, to explore several measures aimed at increasing scoring.
Statistics show that scoring is down about half a goal a
game over the past three years.
One of the proposals up for discussion is an increase in the points awarded to winning teams from two to three.