The National Hockey League (NHL; French: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.
History with the Macy's Parade
The NHL debuted a new float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2011, called "Frozen Fall Fun" to help commemorate the parade's 85th Anniversary. It tells the tale of young kids finding an abandoned boathouse and turning it into their hockey clubhouse. It features a giant 12-foot tall turkey carved from wood, alongside an actual working ice rink. It also features various wood-carved benches with many pumpkins, cornstalks, and other fall decors. This float also usually houses famous retired NHL alumni players.
The following year, in 2012, the owners of the league's franchises, led by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, declared a lockout of the members of the NHLPA after a new agreement could not be reached before the expiry of the NHL collective bargaining agreement on September 16, 2012. The lockout shortened the 2012–13 NHL season, originally scheduled to begin on October 11, 2012, from 82 to 48 games, a reduction of 41.5 percent. The revised season started on January 19, 2013, and ended on April 28, 2013. As a result, since the lockout occurred at the time of the 86th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the float's sponsor was briefly given to Macy's, making it a generic float for the 2012 Parade. However, when the league returned for a full season in 2013, the float would once again be sponsored by Discover and the National Hockey League until 2018.
In 2019, the float got an overhaul and a sponsorship change to promote NHL's Most Valuable Hockey Mom presented by MassMutual. As part of this sponsorship change, the fringe on the bottom of the float was changed from orange to blue.
In 2020, the float was given its biggest overhaul yet. Entitled "Winning Winter Together", the float replicates a lush winter scene, complete with evergreen trees and skaters working as a team to try and slide one by a super-sized Snowman, who replaces the wood-carved turkey.
Listed below are the guest stars that have appeared on the float, alongside the respective songs which they sang during the NBC Telecast.
- 2011 - Cee Lo Green; sang "I'm A Fool For You"
- 2012 - Carly Rae Jepsen; sang "This Kiss"
- 2013 - Kellie Pickler; sang "Little Bit Gypsy"
- 2014 - The Madden Brothers; sang "We Are Done"
- 2015 - Jake Owen; sang "Real Life"
- 2016 - Daya; sang "Words"
- 2017 - Wyclef Jean; sang "What Happened To Love"
- 2018 - Bazzi; sang "Beautiful"
- 2019 - Black-Eyed Peas; sang "RITMO"
NHL Hall of Famers
In addition to boasting a celebrity appearance, every year the NHL float hosts two NHL Hall of Famers. The Hall of Famers that have appeared on the float are listed below.
- 2011 - Cam Neely and Larry Murphy
- 2013 - Mike Richter and Cam Neely
- 2014 - Pat LaFontaine and John LeClair
- 2015 - Mark Howe and Marty Howe
- 2016 - Adam Graves and Eric Lindros
- 2017 - Ray Bourque and Bryan Trottier
- 2018 - Bernie Parent and Mike Richter
- 2019 - Dominic Moore and Eddie Olczyk