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HAWKSINSIDER  /  NHL  /  NEWS

SHOULD THE NHL BRING BACK GAMES ON CHRISTMAS DAY?

Published December 25, 2022 at 0:05
BY

Not many people know it, but there was once a Christmas hockey tradition in the National Hockey League (NHL). From the 1920s until 1971, hockey games were played on Dec. 25. Like every other 25th in recent decades, there is a game-free day this Christmas in the NHL. Christmas isn't the only holiday the NHL has avoided in recent years. Thanksgiving Day has also been a game-free day time and time again recently.

The last Christmas game in the NHL was played on December 25, 1971. This game was played between the Los Angeles Kings and the California Golden Seals. The Golden Seals won this last Christmas battle 3-1. In this game, Seals winger Stan Gilbertson scored a hat trick, hitting the empty net with 18 seconds left in the period. At that point, no one knew that Gilbertson would be the last NHL player to score a goal on Christmas Day.

Games played on Christmas Day have created many memories in the minds of hockey fans. On December 25, 1956, the legendary Gordie Howe celebrated Christmas with a six-point game. On that day, he scored three goals and three assists for the Detroit Red Wings in an 8-1 win over the New York Rangers at Olympic Stadium. This hat trick was the 12th of Howe's career.

NHL games on Christmas Day are now a thing of the past. The players fought hard for it and are glad they did. They rarely get a break and being able to spend Christmas Day with their families is clearly important to them. The NHL players deserve to spend this time with their loved ones. These games provided good revenue opportunities for the owners, but it's not just about the money.


Do you think the NHL should reintroduce hockey games on Christmas Day?
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December 25   |   63 answers
SHOULD THE NHL BRING BACK GAMES ON CHRISTMAS DAY?

Should the NHL bring back games on Christmas Day?

Yes3250.8 %
No3149.2 %
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