Detroit Red Wings' Chris Chelios, left, has an animaited talk with temmate Brendan Shanahan during practice at the Savvis Center in St. Louis on May 8, 2002. / Julian H. Gonzalez/DFP
(DETROIT FREE PRESS) Former Detroit Red Wings teammates Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan will enter the Hockey Hall of Fame shoulder-to-shoulder, as both were among the 2013 inductees announced today.
The only other player to be included was defenseman Scott Niedermayer. Eligible candidates were voted on by an 18-member selection committee. The maximum number of players per class is four.
Chelios, 51, now a special advisor to the Wings, was a first-time ballot entry, reflecting his stature as one of hockey's top 10 defensemen ever, best among U.S.-born players. Chelios won two Stanley Cups while playing for Detroit, adding to the first one he won while a member of the Montreal Canadiens. He played for a quarter of a century, most notably for Montreal, Chicago and Detroit, finishing with 948 points in 1,651 games, along the way capturing three Norris Trophies as the NHL's best defenseman.
Despite topping 600 goals in his career, Shanahan, 44, didn't make it in last year, his first year eligible after retiring in 2009. This was widely speculated to political, as Shanahan has been the league's chief disciplinarian the past two years. Shanahan cemented his reputation as one of the game's top power forwards after arriving in Detroit via trade in October of 1996, helping the Wings win back-to-back Stanley Cups the next two years.
Players aren't identified by any one team when they go into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Wings are in the midst of seeing quite a few of their former players enshrined in the Hall, including Steve Yzerman and Luc Robitaille in 2009 and Igor Larionov in 2008. And in 2015, there'll be another first-ballot guy, for sure, in former defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
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