Jason Brough

GMs discuss ways to increase scoring, bigger nets not ruled out

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They say the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Today in Toronto, NHL general managers met and discussed ways to increase scoring.

Bigger nets have not been ruled out as a future solution, according to league executive Colin Campbell.

NHL teams are currently averaging 2.48 goals per game. That’s only slightly above the 2.46 level of 2003-04, the lowest-scoring season of the modern era.

Though Campbell didn’t rule out making the nets bigger in the future, it’s unlikely that such a move would be made anytime soon. Cutting down the goaltenders’ equipment is generally seen as a more realistic first step.

Related:

Mike Babcock wants bigger nets

Sidney Crosby wants goalie gear

Brian Burke doesn’t want bigger nets

Video: How to fix the All-Star Game

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It was reported last week that 3-on-3 hockey was being discussed as a possible replacement for the current All-Star Game format, a.k.a. shinny, a.k.a. hungover shinny.

Good idea? Bad idea?

Watch the video, then add your thoughts in the comments section.

The 2016 All-Star Game is Jan. 31 in Nashville.

To coach Sutter, Ehrhoff and Forbort are ‘the same guy’

Jonathan Quick, Christian Ehrhoff, Scott Hartnell
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Tonight at Staples Center, for the second game in a row, young Derek Forbort will take veteran Christian Ehrhoff‘s spot on the Kings’ third defense pairing.

Forbort, 23, played 14:06 Saturday and had an assist in the 4-1 win over Florida.

Ehrhoff was a healthy scratch. The 33-year-old is a team-worst minus-7, if you’re looking for reasons why.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter sees similarities between the two defensemen, even if their ages are quite different.

“Christian’s older, so you’ve got to manage his games and make sure he gets his pace and keeps his execution and his compete up, and same with Derek,” Sutter told L.A. Kings Insider. “He has to learn about pace, execution and compete. So maintaining that with Christian and getting Derek to be there certainly gives us the same guy.”

Which player emerges as Sutter’s preferred choice will be worth watching as the season progresses. Certainly, the Kings would love to see Forbort reach the potential they saw when they drafted him 15th overall in 2010. Ehrhoff, in contrast, is a pending unrestricted free agent that the club signed in August for a bargain $1.5 million cap hit.

The Kings host the Coyotes tonight.

Related: Kings’ Forbort will make NHL debut, last of ’10 first-rounders to do so

Keith cleared for contact, could play for ‘Hawks this weekend

Duncan Keith, Gary Bettman
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Duncan Keith has been cleared for contact and could make his return to the Blackhawks lineup this weekend.

Keith has not played since Oct. 17, soon after which he had knee surgery and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

The 32-year-old defenseman will take some contact tomorrow at practice, according to CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers.

The ‘Hawks are in St. Louis Saturday and host Calgary Sunday.

Canucks send scouts to watch Swedish league’s leading scorer

EURO HOCKEY TOUR SWE-CZE
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Anton Rodin still wants to play in the NHL.

Anton who?

Oh, right, most of you have no idea who that is. Rodin was drafted 53rd overall by the Canucks in 2009. He spent a few seasons in the AHL before returning to Sweden in 2013.

And why is this relevant today?

Well, because Rodin’s currently ripping up the Swedish Hockey League with Brynäs IF. The 24-year-old winger has 10 goals and 14 assists in 16 games, and the Canucks have taken notice.

“We have scouts over there this week watching him,” GM Jim Benning told the Vancouver Sun. “I might try to get over there in early February. We still own his rights so we could sign him and bring him back if that’s what we decide.”

But?

“He is not going to want to sign a contract at this stage to come and play in the American league. We have to make the determination first if he makes this team and where we think he is going to fit on our team.”

Rodin told News 1130 in Vancouver that his “goal is to play for the Canucks,” so the NHL dream remains alive and well. If Vancouver doesn’t see a fit, his rights could always be traded to a team that does.