NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – NHL general managers discussed several possible rules changes Tuesday, including the size of goaltender equipment.

“Something needs to be done, and we need to put together something to get it done,” said Dallas GM Brett Hull, the league’s third career leading scorer. “It goes back to Rule 21: Goalkeeper equipment is to protect the goalie not block the net.”

One long-standing problem with reducing the size of goaltender equipment has been a lack of cooperation from the NHL Players Association.

“That’s a huge problem. Are we here for the game? That’s why we’re here,” Hull said. “They have to look at themselves and their leadership and why they’re here, too.”

So will there be a change soon? “I’m not telling you that it will,” said Colin Campbell, NHL vice president and director hockey operations. “It needs a buy-in by our GMs and our players, particularly the goaltenders.”

Meanwhile, the GMs decided not to increase shootouts from three shooters to six shooters. However, they are still deciding whether to scrape the ice before overtime, with 58 percent of overtime games have gone to shootouts this season.

There is still concern about the pace of games.

“We don’t want to change anything with 20 games left, but there are too many frozen pucks, too many needless stoppages,” Campbell said.

While trade talks continued to dominate the meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, GMs also discussed relationships between college hockey players/NHL prospects, college coaches, and NHL teams, as well as the prospect of extending an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation, which allows NHL teams to take European players to North America.

AP-ES-02-19-08 1853EST

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