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Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan headline Hall of Fame class

Chris Chelios won three Norris Trophies while playing 26 NHL seasons. (Bill Wippert/NHL/Getty Images) Three-time Norris Trophy winner Chris Chelios won three Stanley Cups in 26 NHLs seasons. (Bill Wippert/NHL/Getty Images)

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced former NHL players Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer and Brendan Shanahan will join former NHL coach Fred Shero and former Team Canada player Geraldine Heaney in the 2013 class of inductees.

Chelios, a three-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defensman, played for four teams -- Blackhawks, Canadiens, Red Wings and Thrashers -- in 26 seasons. The 11-time All-Star won three Stanley Cups -- with Montreal ('86) and Detroit ('02, '08) -- and is No. 5 on the list of most NHL games played with 1,651. He is considered one of the best U.S. players in NHL history.

From the Chicago Tribune:

“He’s the best American-born player ever,” said former Hawks teammate and fellow member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Eddie Olcyzk. “He played in every era and played any way he wanted—skill, tough, dirty. And he was a winner. That is ‘Cheli.’”

Niedermayer was a scoring defenseman who tallied 172 goals and recorded 568 assists in 1,263 games. He won four Stanley Cups in his 18 NHL seasons with the Devils and Ducks. Niedermayer won gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships, as well as the 2003-04 Norris Trophy and the Conn Smythe as the playoffs MVP during the Ducks' 2007 Stanley Cup run.

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Shanahan scored 656 goals and had 698 assists in 1,524 games while playing as one of the NHL's top power forwards. In 21 NHL seasons with the Blues, Devils, Rangers, Red Wings and Whalers, Shanahan is the only player to score at least 600 goals and record more than 2,000 penalty minutes. He played on three Stanley Cup teams and was an eight-time All-Star.

Shero was considered an innovator while coaching the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and 1975. Shero is thought to be one of the first NHL coaches to have his players take morning skates on game days and prepare for opponents with film study. Shero's teams made the playoffs in eight of his nine NHL seasons that included two Stanley Cup Final appearances to go with his two Cup wins.

Heaney was often referred to as Canada's "female Bobby Orr" as the best offensive defenseman in Canadian women's hockey history. A member of the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame, Heaney won gold medals in six world championships.

https://twitter.com/HockeyHallFame/status/354680689645453313

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