Friends celebrate the life of Roger Neilson

Updated: June 23, 2003, 12:04 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Roger Neilson's death didn't come as a shock on Saturday, but the news was no less sad as numerous hockey people remembered the longtime NHL coach, who most recently worked as an assistant with Ottawa.

Although the Hockey Hall of Famer never won a Stanley Cup, and reached the finals only once in 1982 with Vancouver, Neilson believed there was more to be gained from the game.

"As a coach or player, you're always trying to get the ultimate prize," Neilson said during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony. "While you'd love to win those things and be involved in that, it's not something that is gnawing at you. I think it's almost more important to be coaching a team where the guys are all giving their best shot and working together and you know at the end of the season you gave the best you could. That's sometimes even more important."