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Roger Neilson
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Hockey Coach
    (June 16, 1934-June 21, 2003)
    Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Head coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1977-79), Buffalo Sabres (1980–81), Vancouver Canucks (1982-84), Los Angeles Kings (1984), New York Rangers (1989-93), Florida Panthers (1993-95), Philadelphia Flyers (1997-98, 1999-2000) and the Ottawa Senators (2002)
    Order of Canada recipient (2002)
    Hockey Hall of Fame inductee (2002)
    He was a coaching nomad.
    He beared a striking resemblance to Elliott Gould.
    During his stint with the Leafs, he was forced to coach a game with a paper bag over his head by team owner Harold Ballard.
    Despite spending many years coaching in the NHL, he never won a Stanley Cup championship.
    He was considered a perfectionist by coaches, pundits and former players alike.
    He often studied the NHL rule book in order to find loopholes to use to his advantage.
    Despite working on the Oilers coaching staff as a video analyst during their first Stanley Cup run, he never received a ring for his efforts.
    He had no family and was virtually devoid of any personal life away from the rink, opting to spend most of his time in team offices breaking down video footage, sometimes working 24 hour days.
    His teams were often seen as being good, but not good enough to win a Stanley Cup.
    He was nicknamed 'Captain Video' as result of introducing video footage in order to study plays.
    He guided the Canucks to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance, months after taking over the head coaching position (1982).
    He started the trend of waving a white towel following an incident with an official, where he placed a towel on a hockey stick and waved it around in protest of the officials call.
    In addition to using video footage, he also was one of the first hockey coaches to use a headset to communicate with his assistants in the press box.
    He served as the first head coach in the history of the Florida Panthers.
    He was unceremoniously fired by the Flyers shortly after being diagnosed with bone cancer, leaving many Flyers fans to label GM Bobby Clarke as a coward and called his move 'gutless' (2000).
    Months after the controversy, he spoke out and sided with Clarke, saying the latter did the right thing by relieving him of his duties.
    In a classy move during his stint as an assistant coach with the Senators, head coach Jacques Martin swapped positions and allowed him to coach the final two games of the season in order to allow him to coach in 1,000 career NHL games.
    He was a recipient of the Order of Canada prior to his death and had a school named in his honor in Peterborough, Ontario.
    Following his death, the Senators opened Roger's House, a foundation which caters to terminally ill children.

Credit: Ricky

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