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Chelios, Niedermayer and Shanahan elected to Hockey Hall of Fame

Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer and Brendan Shanahan have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Chelios and Niedermayer were first-time eligible candidates, while Shanahan was in his second year on the ballot after falling short of election last year.

Joining the trio at induction ceremonies on Nov. 11 in Toronto will be head coach and architect of the "Broad Street Bullies," Fred Shero, in the builder's category and Canadian women's hockey player Geraldine Heaney.

"The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these five hockey legends as Honoured Members," said Jim Gregory, co-chair of the Hall of Fame selection committee. "Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved."

Chelios was a three-time Stanley Cup champion and winner of the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman three times in a career that spanned 26 seasons with Montreal, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta. He played 1,651 games, fifth all-time among defensemen and the most among American-born players.

The Illinois native, who retired at the age of 48 in 2010, amassed 185 goals and 763 assists for 948 points. He broke into the NHL with Montreal in 1984 and won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in the spring of 1986, then was a member of Cup-winning teams with Detroit in 2002 and 2008.

It's a great honor to be selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Chelios. "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."

In addition, Chelios played for the United States on four different Olympic teams, winning a silver medal in 2002 at the Salt Lake City Games. He was a five-time NHL First-Team All-Star and was selected to play in the All-Star Game 11 times.

Niedermayer won a trio of Stanley Cup titles with the New Jersey Devils and one more with the Anaheim Ducks during an 18-year career from 1992-2010. He compiled 172 goals with 568 assists for 740 points in 1,263 games, winning the Norris Trophy in 2004 with New Jersey.

The Devils selected the Alberta native with the third overall pick of the 1991 draft and he joined the team as an 18-year-old during the '91-92 season. He became a mainstay on the New Jersey blueline the following year and helped the Devils to Cup titles in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

"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."

After signing with the Ducks as a free agent for the 2005-06 season, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP during Anaheim's run to the title in the spring of 2007. He also won Olympic gold twice with Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake Games and 2010 Games in Vancouver, while earning First-Team All-Star nods three times.

Shanahan was also a Devils first-round pick, chosen second overall in the 1987 draft, and joined the team as an 18-year-old that season. He played four seasons with New Jersey before going to St. Louis for the 1991-92 campaign, a move that enabled the Devils to acquire future Hall of Famer Scott Stevens as compensation.

The Ontario native also played for the Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers before ending his career where it started -- with New Jersey in 2008-09. He ranks 13th all-time in goals scored with 656 and finished his career with 1,354 points in 1,524 games.

Shanahan won Stanley Cup titles with Detroit in 1997, 1998 and 2002, appeared in eight All-Star Games and was a member of Canada's gold-medal winning Olympic team in 2002. He was also a First-Team All-Star twice and is currently the NHL's discipline czar.

"I've always been fortunate to have great teammates and coaches throughout my career," said Shanahan. "At every level I have tried to learn and my key to success was having people around me that helped me improve my game."

Shero guided the Philadelphia Flyers to consecutive Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and '75, and led the New York Rangers to the Cup Finals in 1979 as coach and GM. He posted a record of 390-225-119 in 734 games during the regular season and was the inaugural winner of the Jack Adams Award as the league's top coach following Philly's upset of the Bruins in 1974.

Heaney helped Canada to an Olympic silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Games and gold at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. She becomes the third woman elected to the Hall of Fame as a player, joining Angela James and Cammi Granato.

Rob Blake, Eric Lindros, Alexander Mogilny and Jeremy Roenick were among those eligible and not elected this year.