The National Hockey League has adopted one of the most player-friendly traditions in all of professional sports, the holiday roster freeze, and it's a tradition that is widely viewed as a major positive across the sports world.
The roster freeze effectively prevents players from either being traded or moved to the minors in and around Christmas and considering it's meant to be a time for people to be with their families, it's been heralded as the great decision that it is.
However National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL have also made another decision surrounding the holidays, and that is to not have any games take place on Christmas day. Some have now started to question whether or not that decision is having a negative impact on the growth of the game.
As sports fans gather around their families for the holidays they have plenty of options regarding which of their favorite sports they want to watch. The National Football League, the National Basketball Association and even the Kontinental Hockey League all play games on Christmas and unsurprisingly those games draw a ton of eyeballs.
Would playing during the Christmas holidays not give the NHL the opportunity to grow it's popularity considering how many eyeballs are available with so many people getting time off during this part of the year? The NFL. NBA and KHL certainly think so and as a result have made playing on Christmas a huge event for their respective leagues.
The NHL has always been the little brother of the 3 major North American pro sports leagues and their decision to not play on Christmas may be a missed opportunity to close that gap.
Of course should the NHL change their ways and play more games on and around Christmas day it would likely be a popular decision among fans but they also have the players and the NHL Player's Association to worry about. The existence of the World Junior Championship also complicates matters for the NHL in a way it doesn't for rival leagues.
Would you like to see NHL games played on Christmas? Do the positive benefits outweigh the negatives?