NHL general managers and a group of players looked at three models for bigger nets developed by the league when they gathered Thursday afternoon in Detroit.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and league executives are also in attendance.

Players taking part are Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canucks, president of the NHL Players' Association, goaltenders Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars, defencemen Scott Niedermayer of the Devils and Rob Blake of the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings forwards Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.

The purpose of the two-day summit is to examine ideas that could possibly improve the NHL's on-ice product.

Those assembled will look at the prototypes for the new nets, although no decision has been made to use them when hockey eventually returns after the lockout.

Current NHL regulations stipulate that nets must measure six feet wide by four feet high. One of the models sports bars that curve out at the sides, thus making the goal larger. Another is two inches bigger in height and width.

A third model is six feet at the base and widens on an angle to reach a width of six feet eight inches and a height of four feet four inches.

The belief is that introducing larger nets will help increase scoring and open up the game a bit.

Other ideas the GMs will examine are using shootouts to break ties in the regular season and shrinking the size of goalie equipment.

"When we were talking about making changes to goalie equipment in the past few years, I had two respected coaches – Roger Neilson and Jacques Demers – say to me, 'Why don't you just make the nets bigger?'" NHL senior vice-president Colin Campbell recently told The Hockey News.

"Basketball has its three-point play which rewards teams for taking risks on offence. We don't have that. Do you take a long shot late in a game when you know the odds of scoring are very low? No. Instead you drop back and play defence. We need to find a way to reward teams for taking chances on offence to encourage coaches to coach a more offensive style."

With no hockey being played due to the lockout, Campbell said it is incumbent upon the NHL to use the time constructively and look at ways that could help improve the game.

"It is as simple as asking, 'Is it a viable alternative and will it enhance the game?'" Campbell said. "It doesn't necessarily mean there will automatically be more goals, but wouldn't it be better for the game if there was the opportunity to score more goals?

"Hockey purists may say no, and I was in that group six months ago. But I now think we need to at least consider ways to increase scoring chances."

Campbell said the nets could be used in the East Coast Hockey League before its regular season ends on April 9.

with files from Canadian Press