- Published in 2002 Hockey Inductees
Roger Neilson never won the Stanley Cup, nor was he ever named the Jack Adams Trophy winner for NHL Coach of the Year. Actually, Neilson bounced around as the bench boss for several National Hockey League teams during his career. It would appear on the surface that his induction is not exactly warranted, and the sympathy that he got throughout Hockey fans for his courageous fight against cancer (he was diagnosed in 1999, and continued to coach) may have been part of it. We hate to say it, but he was inducted in 2002, eight months before he passed away, so we wonder if this is a case of the Hall of Fame being nice to someone who was an all-around good man. That may have been the case, but there are other factors worth discussing.