TORONTO (Reuters) - Early years playing in Moscow helped propel Sergei Fedorov to a career that culminated with his induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, Phil Housley, Angela Ruggiero, Peter Karmanos Jr. and Bill Hay were also inducted during a ceremony in Toronto on Monday. Accepting his Hall of Fame plaque from Russian compatriot Igor Larionov, the 45-year-old Fedorov paid tribute to former coaches and spoke of how playing for CSKA Moscow prepared him for his shift to the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings.
"They were hard gruelling seasons," Fedorov said of the four seasons he spent with CSKA. "If you could imagine lifting 27 tons in only two hours, that would be one practice. But in four years, I was ready." Fedorov played 18 seasons in the NHL, mainly in Detroit, that saw him produce 483 goals and 1,179 points.
He won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player and Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player in 1994, and was a two-time winner of the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in 1994 and 1996.
"In my wildest dreams I would never expect something like (this)," Fedorov said of his induction.
"I never believed and thought something like (this) wouldhappen to me. I've been so fortunate."
It was only fitting Fedorov was inducted alongside former Red Wings team mate Lidstrom. Lidstrom enjoyed a 20-year career with the Red Wings that produced 1,142 points, four Stanley Cup titles and cemented him as one of the top defenseman of all-time.
"I certainly didn't get here by myself," Lidstrom said.
"It takes a team in all aspects of your life."
Pronger and Housley were also decorated defenseman. Ruggiero was a stalwart for the United States women's team, while Hay and Karmanos both made an impact in administration.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)