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Chelios, Niedermayer, Shanahan among HHOF inductees

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

The 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame induction class includes a pair of legendary defensemen, a 600-goal scorer, a coach who was known as an innovator, and a woman who drew comparisons to Bobby Orr.

Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Fred Shero and Geraldine Heaney were voted into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Niedermayer, Chelios, Shanahan and Heaney were voted as members of the Player category. Heaney is the third woman elected behind Cammi Granato and Angela James. Shero, the two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, goes in as a member of the Builder category.

The voting was conducted by the Hall's 18-member selection committee, which met in private Tuesday morning to select the Class of 2013. The induction ceremony will take place Nov. 11 in Toronto.

Niedermayer and Chelios were in their first year of eligibility following their retirements after the 2009-10 season. Shanahan was in his second year of eligibility after being passed over last year, when Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure were inducted.

Chelios, 51, was the oldest first-time eligible candidate the selection committee ever had to consider. He played until he was 48 years old, compiling 948 points in 1,651 games (fifth all-time, most among defensemen and most among American-born players) while suiting up for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers.

Chelios, who was taken by the Canadiens with the No. 40 pick in the 1981 NHL Draft, won the Stanley Cup three times (1986 with Montreal, 2002 and 2008 with Detroit). He also won the Norris Trophy three times (1989, 1993, 1996).

Internationally, Chelios represented the United States at the Olympics four times (1984, 1998, 2002 and 2006), the Canada Cup three times, and the World Cup of Hockey in 1996, where the Americans won gold. He won a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Niedermayer is the only player in history to win every major North American and international championship. He won the Stanley Cup four times (1995, 2000, 2003, 2007) and gold medals at the Olympics (2002, 2010), the World Championship (2004), the World Cup of Hockey (2004) and the World Junior Championship (1991). He also won the Memorial Cup with the Kamloops Blazers in 1992.

Niedermayer was drafted by the New Jersey Devils with the No. 3 pick in 1991. He played with the Devils until 2004 and signed to play with the Anaheim Ducks coming out of the lockout-cancelled 2004-05 season. Niedermayer played 1,263 games in 18 seasons (1992-2010) and compiled 740 points. He had 98 points in 202 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"I'm so happy for Scotty!" former Ducks teammate Teemu Selanne said in a statement. "He was one of the best players to ever play the game and deserves to join the legends of hockey in the Hall of Fame. It was unbelievable to watch him as a player, his skating was incredible. It was an honor to be his teammate."

Shanahan, who like Niedermayer was drafted by the Devils (No. 2 in 1987), won the Stanley Cup three times with the Red Wings (1997, 1998, 2002), Olympic gold with Canada in 2002, and the World Championship gold in 1994.

Shanahan is one of 18 members of the NHL's 600-goal club; he is 13th all-time with 656. He's 13th all-time in games played with 1,524 and 25th in points with 1,354. Shanahan played for the Devils, St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Red Wings and New York Rangers.

Shero coached the Flyers to the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975. He was the first coach to win the Stanley Cup with an expansion team. He also brought the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1976 and the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1979.

Shero, who passed away in 1990, coached for 10 seasons from 1971-81 and went 390-225-119. He is 11th all-time in winning percentage (.612). He was the first winner of the Jack Adams Award (1974).

In addition to his team's on-ice success, Shero was considered an innovator because he was one of the first coaches to put his team through morning skates, and he went to the Soviet Union to study the hockey philosophies there in order to incorporate them into his coaching style. He was the first coach to hire a full-time assistant, to make sure his players used in-season strength training, and among the first to study film.

"I am thrilled to hear that Fred Shero was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame," Flyers owner Ed Snider said in a statement. "There's no sense looking back as to why it didn't happen sooner, because today's a happy day to celebrate the fact that a guy that deserves it immensely has finally been elected to the Hall of Fame. It's a great day for the Philadelphia Flyers."

Heaney, a long-time defenseman, won the gold medal with Canada at the World Women's Championship seven times (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001). She also won gold at the 2002 Olympics and silver at the 1998 Games. Heaney, Granato and James were inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 2008.

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