On Tuesday July 9, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced its’ 2013 induction class. Defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Chris Chelios, forward Brendan Shanahan, Coach Fred Shero and female defenseman Geraldine Heaney compose this year’s class; and will be enshrined in Toronto this fall.
“I’m so happy for Scotty (Niedermayer)!” former Ducks teammate Teemu Selanne said in a statement. “He was one of the best players to ever play the game and deserves to join the legends of hockey in the Hall of Fame. It was unbelievable to watch him as a player, his skating was incredible. It was an honor to be his teammate.”
Of the three former NHL players, Niedermayer and Chelios were both selected in their first year of eligibility. Shanahan was passed over by the 12-person selection committee in 2012 (his first year of eligibility), who chose instead to elect Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure.
Here’s a look at the five people who will take their place amongst the greats in Toronto.
Nicknamed “The Godfather” of American hockey; Chris Chelios played in more NHL contests (1,651) than any American-born player and any defenseman in history. Known for his unmatched work ethic, Chelios played until the age of 48.
Drafted in 1981, Chelios suited up for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detriot Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers during his career. He won three Stanley Cups (1986 with Montreal, 2002 and 2008 with Detroit), was awarded the Norris Trophy three times and represented the U.S. in four Olympics.
Scott Niedermayer was drafted by the New Jersey Devels third overall in 1991. Over his 18 seasons, he played for the Devils and Anaheim Ducks. He was known for his incredible skating. Niedemayer won the Norris Trophy 2003 and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2007. More than anything, he was known for winning at every level.
Niedermayer is the only player to ever win every major North American and international championship; winning four Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, 2003, 2007), two Olympic Gold Medals, a World Championship, a World Junior Championship, a World Cup of Hockey and a Memorial Cup.
Drafted second overall by the New Jersey Devils, Brendan Shanahan currently sits 13th all-time in goals scored with 656. In 21 seasons, Shanahan suited up for the Devils, St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers.
Shanahan won three Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, 2002), an Olympic gold medal and a World Championship.
Fred Shero was selected to the Hall of Fame in the builders category. Ater a short playing career, Shero coached in the NHL for 10 seasons, winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Flyers in 1974 and 1975. He was the first recipient of the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 1974 and sits 11th all-time in winning percentage (.612). Shero passed away in 1990.
Born in Ireland, Geraldine Heaney moved to Canada at a young age and picked up ice hockey. She went on to become arguably the best defenseman in the history of women’s hockey.
Heaney joined the Canadian National Team in 1990 and captured seven straight World Championship titles. She also competed in two Olympics, finishing her career by winning gold in 2002. She was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2008.