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Red Wings centre Sergei Fedorov, left, skates around falling Blues defenseman Chris Pronger in a playoff game in 2002.

CARLOS OSORIO/The Associated Press

Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housley, Angela Ruggiero , Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos Jr. were named as the Hockey Hall of Fame's class of 2015.

Pronger was elected in unprecedented fashion because he's still under contract in the NHL.

Pronger, who was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, has not played since November 2011 because of post-concussion syndrome and is working for the league.

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The fearsome defenceman was made eligible by a bylaw that specifies a player's final game must be three full seasons ago.

"Nothing I have done has been the easy way, so I guess this follows suit," Pronger said on a conference call Monday afternoon.

Lidstrom's election was a slam-dunk after a career that included seven Norris Trophies as the NHL's top defenceman and four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.

Lidstrom's longtime Red Wings teammate Fedorov also made it in his first year of eligibility after putting up 483 goals and 969 assists in 1,248 career games.

Housley has the most points of any American defenceman with 1,232 on 338 goals and 894 assists.

"I've been patiently waiting and there's been so many great players before me that have been inducted, but to finally get that call it's surreal, it's a shock," Housley said.

Hay, a former president of Hockey Canada, and Karmanos, the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, made it in the builder category.

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Ruggiero, a U.S. defenceman, is the fourth woman to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

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