Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer and Brendan Shanahan were among the inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.
Along with Chelios, Niedermayer and Shanahan, head coach and architect of the "Broad Street Bullies," Fred Shero, and Canadian women's hockey player Geraldine Heaney were also placed in the pantheon of NHL elite.
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.
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.
"I owe everything in my life to my family, friends and this great game of hockey," Chelios said.
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.
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.
"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, it made passing you the Cup in 2007 more memorable. "You were an important part of that team and I couldn't be more proud to call you my brother."
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 think about you guys a lot and I'll never forget what we were able to accomplish," Shanahan said of his time with Detroit.
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.
"My Dad's inclusion tonight, into hockey's greatest team, would make him extremely proud," Ray Shero said on behalf of his father Fred.
Heaney helped Canada to an Olympic silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Games and gold at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. She is one of three women inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player, joining Angela James and Cammi Granato.
"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."