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Several of the managers are also concerned that the game is becoming too defensive-minded and trending more toward a soccer-type style. The New York Rangers secured the top seed in the East and reached the conference finals by strengthening their defensive play with a team-wide dedication to blocking shots.

After the NHL lockout wiped out the 2004-05 NHL season, a package of new rules to spice up the game was adopted. Something similar could be coming in the not so distant future.

“I like offense in the game and I like offensive opportunities,” Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis said. “If those opportunities aren’t present in the course of a game, I don’t like it and I don’t support that.

“What I’ve seen is the lowering of scoring opportunities. You don’t see many odd-man rushes at all, and the collapsing around your own net to block shots and not challenge the point man.”

The NHL plans to have a bit of a rules summit in August to discuss what issues clubs are having with rules such as hooking, holding and interference, and what changes might have to be made in the way those infractions are whistled.

General managers, coaches, players and referees are expected to attend.

“I want to know what is real,” said Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations. “Sometimes you can get more at the problem in August after the season has gone away before we start another season.”


AP Sports Writer Ira Podell contributed to this report.