I have nothing against Roger Neilson being inducted into the HHOF because he did love the game and spent his life teaching it. But the thread asks if he should have been inducted and when you think about the answer, you have to have criteria and standards that you measure the inductee against. The HHOF should be for people who have exibited 'superior' performance or contribution to the game
So, its real borderline that Neilson got inducted and I've seen nothing in the posts here to show why he should be in the HHOF.
I don't think his coaching career is any better than a lot of coaches that are not in the HHOF. In fact, Neilson got fired more than most coaches.
I don't see that being asked for loopholes in proposed new rules qualifies him as well. I don't think that's a plus and its trivial anyways. I really fail to see how that can be 'innovative'. It just shows you that he was known as someone who might try to scam the system. And he did.
Innovative is Jacques Plante being the first goalie to regularly leave the goal area to get the puck or using the facemask. Those things are not only innovative but positive for the game. Innovative means the Patricks with their rule changes. Other things like instituting forward passing, or thinking about putting in the centre red line. I can go on and on.
Roger Neilson used video more than most coaches but he wasn't the pioneer - he just got more credit for it.
I bring those things up because I hear people say he was such an outstanding innovator and he was also the first guy to use video. Both of those are really false.
If anyone can think of real innovations, I would like to hear them.
Originally Posted by jamiebez
In the last few years of his life, Roger was consulted by the NHL whenever they were interested in changing official rules, to see if he could come up with any loopholes. A few that I can think of that he came up with:
- if the puck goes through the crease on an icing, icing is waived off (since, presumably, the goalie could have played it, I guess)
- in the days before shootouts, a team pulling their goalie in OT to get a 5-on-4 advantage would forfeit their single overtime loss point if they lost on an empty-net goal. Not sure if this rule is still in place.
Did these things benefit the game? I don't know. Were they innovative? Yes.
I think if you combine his creativity, along with a very good coaching record (10th all-time in games coached when he retired) you get a Hall of Famer, no questions asked.