Which rule changes would increase NHL scoring most?

Altering the dimensions of the net is just one suggestion that has been made to increase NHL scoring. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

NHL scoring has dropped from around 8.0 goals per game in the 1980s, to a modern-day peak of 6.2 goals per game in 2005-06, and just 5.4 this season. It's no wonder that exploring ways to increase scoring is such a hot topic right now.

An increase in scoring could make for more exciting games, it might reduce the reliance on coin tosses like 3-on-3 overtime and the shootout to determine a winner, and it would make it harder to knock off a better team with a single lucky break. But which rules will have the desired effect?

Setting aside secondary consequences, and matters of opinion or personal taste, let's break down the numbers behind five of the most common suggestions to generate more goals, and evaluate the potential impact on league-wide scoring.