Roger Neilson

Impacted the Game He Loved, The People He Met, And The Communities He Lived In

Beyond his legendary innovations and contributions to amateur and professional hockey, Roger Neilson was known for his profound love for children. He was passionate about using his position and influence to positively impact children through educational programs, hockey camps, or personal interactions.

Roger was deeply involved in charitable work, especially efforts that benefitted children facing challenges or illnesses. His compassionate nature and genuine desire to give back to the community were baked into his character. Through fundraisers, visits to hospitals, and personal engagements with families and children, Neilson made a difference in the lives of others.

After a long career coaching in the National Hockey League, Roger’s last coaching position was with the Ottawa Senators, where he stood behind the bench for his 1,000th game as a head coach in 2001.

After Roger Neilson died in 2003, the Ottawa Senators and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) teamed up to honour his life and legacy in a way that reflected his love for children and his commitment to community service. They recognized Neilson’s contributions to hockey and his deep commitment to helping others, especially children. They led the community campaign to establish what is now known as Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice.

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