by Fitzgerald Cecilio
New York, NY
Blueliners Scott Niedermayer and Chris Chelios lead a group of five people elected to the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame class.
Aside from Niedermayer and Chelios, also voted to the Hall of Fame were Brendan Shanahan, Fred Shero and Geraldine Heaney. They will be inducted Nov. 11 in Toronto.
Niedermayer, Chelios, Shanahan and Heaney were voted as members of the Player Category. Heaney is the third woman elected, joining Cammi Granato and Angela James of Class of 2010.
Shero, the two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, goes in posthumously as a member of the Builder Category.
Niedermayer and Chelios made it to the Hall in their first year of eligibility following their retirement 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 into the Hall of Fame.
"It's pretty surreal to get this call to be told you're being inducted into the Hall of Fame," Niedermayer said. "It'll probably take a long time for it to sink in. It's a pretty impressive group and it's a real honor to be part of such a great group."
The 51-year-old Chelios was the oldest first-time eligible candidate the selection committee ever had to consider.
Chelios 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) suiting up for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers.
"I always said I'd go right until the tank was empty and I believe I did," said Chelios, who
Was chosen by the Canadiens with the No. 40 pick in the 1981 NHL Draft.
He won the Stanley Cup three times (1986 with Montreal, 2002 and 2008 with Detroit). He also won the Norris Trophy three times (1989 with the Canadiens and 1993 and 1996 with the Blackhawks).
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 a gold medal at the Olympics (2002, 2010).
He also ruled 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.
Chosen by the New Jersey Devils with a No. 3 pick in the 1991 NHL Draft, Niedermayer played 1,263 games over 18 seasons (1992-2010) and compiled 740 points. He had 98 points in 202 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
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 World Championship gold in 1994.
Shero, for his part, coached the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. He was the first coach to win the Stanley Cup with an expansion team.
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.
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