Defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Chris Chelios, winger Brendan Shanahan, defender Geraldine Heaney and late coach Fred Shero became the Hockey Hall of Fame's newest inductees during a ceremony in Toronto on Monday.
Niedermayer, 40, is the only man to earn every major North American and international championship. He won four Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, 2003, 2007), two Olympic gold medals, the World Championship (2004), the World Cup of Hockey (2004) and the World Junior Championship (1991).
"It's an honor to go into the Hall alongside the four other inductees here today who have made tremendous contributions to the game of hockey," Niedermayer said.
He also thanked his family, in particular brother Rob Niedermayer.
"One of the best memories of my career was being able to compete alongside my brother Rob," Niedermayer said. "As tough as it was shaking hands after the 2003 Stanley Cup final (when Scott Niedermayer's New Jersey Devils beat Rob Niedermayer's Mighty Ducks of Anaheim), it made passing you the Cup in 2007 more memorable (when they were Ducks teammates). You were an important part of that team, and I couldn't be more proud to call you my brother."
Chelios, like Scott Niedermayer, went into the Hall during his first year of eligibility. Chelios, 51, was the oldest first-time eligible candidate considered because he played until he was 48 years old. He totaled 948 points over 1,651 games, fifth all-time and most among defensemen while playing for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers.
"I owe everything in my life to my family, friends and this great game of hockey," Chelios said.
He added that he regretted the league's work stoppages that cost him portions of his career.
"Nobody won," Chelios said of the labor strife.
Shanahan, 44, won the Stanley Cup three times with the Detroit Red Wings (1997, 1998, 2002) as well as the Olympic gold with Canada in 2002 and the World Championship gold in 1994. He is also one of 18 members of the NHL's 600-goal club.
"It is just so great to feel like a hockey player again this weekend," Shanahan said. "I miss it."
He dedicated his induction to his father, who died when he was 21.
Heaney, 46, 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.
"As a young girl growing up in Toronto, I never dreamed I'd be standing up here being inducted into the Hall of Fame," Heaney said. "It really does seem surreal, but being only the third female to do so it really makes it more special."
The only other women in the Hall, Cammi Granato and Angela James, attended Monday's ceremony.
"(It is) an honor to follow the two greatest female hockey players in the game into the Hall of Fame," Heaney said.
Under Shero, who died in 1990 at age 65, the Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975. He also took the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals in 1976 and the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup finals in 1979.
Shero's son, Ray, thanked the Flyers and the city of Philadelphia on behalf of his family.