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Photo Credit: HHOF

NHL History: Roger Nielson named to Hockey Hall of Fame today in 2002

It was today in 2002 that former Vancouver Canucks head coach Roger Nielson was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Roger Nielson was infamous as head coach of the Canucks and that is saying something given he only lasted 133 games behind the bench over three seasons.

Late in the 1981-82 season, Neilson who was then an assistant coach, got promoted to the head spot after then bench boss Harry Neale was suspended for taking part in an altercation with fans during a brawl with the Quebec Nordiques.

Neilson had instant success with the team as they went unbeaten in the next seven games embarking on a deep playoff run. Vancouver made it all the way to the Cup finals that year but were swept by the New York Islanders. Neilson stuck behind the bench until part way through the 1983-84 campaign when he was fired.

He’s well known for his white towel-waving incident against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1982 playoffs.

Neilson was known as a great teacher who was able to get the most out of his players.

On Twitter: @zjlaing