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Nicklas Lidstrom likely to headline Hockey Hall class

Nicklas Lidstrom, who won seven Norris Trophies as the best defenseman of his era and four Stanley Cups as a cornerstone of the Detroit Red Wings, isa strong favorite to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday in his first year of eligibility.

Lidstrom likely will be joined in the class of 2015 by former Red Wings teammate Sergei Fedorov and dominant defenseman Chris Pronger.

"It really shows what great of a team we had back in '02 and what Scotty [Bowman] could accomplish with a group like that," Lidstrom said. "And we played as a team when it mattered, too."

Lidstrom, who played 1,564 regular-season games and 263 more in the playoffs, never missed more than 12 games in a season. He never missed more than six until he was 41 years old.

"People are asking you how many games you played and how many you missed, and that's something I'm very proud of that I played in so many games," Lidstrom said. "I haven't missed many games."

Lidstrom scored 264 goals and had 878 assists for 1,142 points, which ranks sixth all time among defensemen behind Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis, Phil Housley and Larry Murphy.

Fedorov, who also won four Stanley Cup championships with the Red Wings, scored 483 goals and had 696 assists in 1,248 career NHL games.

Pronger won the Hart Trophy in 2000 -- only the second defenseman since 1972 to do so -- and had 698 points over his 18-year NHL career, including nine seasons with the St. Louis Blues. He also played for the Hartford Whalers, Edmonton OilersandPhiladelphia Flyers and won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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