Two legendary defenseman, a 600-goal scorer, a woman and a coach with two Stanley Cup championships highlight the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame class.
Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Fred Shero and Geraldine Heaney became the Hall's newest inductees, when the announcement was made Tuesday.
Niedermayer, Chelios, Shanahan and Heaney earned their place as players, while Shero led the Philadelphia Flyers to two Stanley Cup championships. The Hall's 18-member selection committee elected the group during a private meeting. Inductees will be enshrined during a Nov. 11 ceremony in Toronto.
"The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these five hockey legends as Honoured Members," Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee co-chair Jim Gregory said in a statement. "Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved."
Niedermayer and Chelios go in during their first year of eligibility. Both retired after the 2009-10 season. Shanahan missed being part of last year's class of Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure.
The 51-year-old Chelios 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.
"It's a great honour to be selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame," Chelios said in a statement. "To have such a long career in the game has been fantastic for me, and being named to the Hall is a huge recognition for what I was able to accomplish."
Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a statement, "On behalf of the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, we want to congratulate Chris Chelios and his family for this incredible achievement. Chris defined toughness, perseverance and commitment. We are grateful and proud that he spent so many years of his incredible playing career as a member of the Blackhawks."
Niedermayer 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).
The third-overall pick by the New Jersey Devils in the 1991 NHL Draft, Niedermayer played 1,263 games over 18 seasons from 1992 to 2010 and tallied 740 points.
"My goal was always just to make the National Hockey League," said Niedermayer. "Joining people in the Hall of Fame that I've always looked up to is a tremendous thrill."
Shanahan 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.
"I've always been fortunate to have great teammates and coaches throughout my career," Shanahan said. "At every level I have tried to learn and my key to success was having people around me that helped me improve my game."
Under Shero, who died in 1990, the Broad Street Bullies won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975. He also took the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1976 and the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1979.
Heaney, a 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.
"This continues the big step that women's hockey is taking and the pioneering of Angela James and Cammi Granato," Heaney said. "I'm very proud to join them in helping to grow out game."