The inaugural NHL YoungStars Game was played (replacing Heroes of Hockey old-timers game) featuring the future young stars of the NHL. The two teams were divided between Team Melrose and Team Fox. The game format had four skaters (and one goaltender) per side and the first two periods were for 12 minutes running time, and then the third period would run for 11 minutes, running time, plus a final minute of stop time. The teams were allowed a four-minute break between periods. If the score is tied after three periods, a sudden-death shootout will determine the winner. Team Melrose would defeat Team Fox by a score of 13–7, as Atlanta Thrashers' Ilya Kovalchuk would score six goals for Team Melrose, with one of them being on a penalty shot. Kovalchuk was named as the first-ever YoungStars MVP.
The 52nd NHL All-Star Game was highlighted by Pittsburgh Penguins' Mario Lemieux's 13th career goal which tied Wayne Gretzky for the most goals scored in All-Star Game competition, Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin's flawless third period and a flawed MVP selection process. Three players would put up three-point performances that included North American All-StarsChicago Blackhawks' leftwinger Eric Daze (2–1–3) and San Jose Sharks' centre Vincent Damphousse (1–2–3), while Vancouver Canucks' left winger Markus Naslund (2–1–3) would be the only player for the World All-Stars to score three points. The World All-Stars rallied for 5 goals in the third period and a come-back win. Daze who was appearing in his first All-Star Game, was chosen as All-Star MVP, becoming the first Blackhawk player to win the award since 1971 when Bobby Hull won the award. A minor controversy ensued over the MVP selection, as World All-Stars goalie Khabibulin recorded a third period shutout that allowed the his team to storm back from 5-3 down. Apparently voting was conducted with about 5 minutes remaining in the game while the North American All-Stars still held the lead. Afterwards the talk in both locker rooms was about the Russian goaltender's play, what it might mean for the upcoming Olympics in two weeks and their disappointment that his 20 save performance didn't win him an honor, which many of them thought was both deserved and obvious.