For the first time, the responsibility to choose the non-starting members of the teams was transferred to a committee of general managers. The breadth of NHL talent available was highlighted as 13 players made their All-Star debut. Seven of those players would also score their first-ever All-Star goals that included first-timers Owen Nolan, Alexander Mogilny, Gary Roberts and Randy Burridge.
Also for the first time, not a single penalty was called and three goaltenders were employed for each team, with each goalie playing one period. Previously, two goaltenders had shared duties, switching halfway through the second period.
Lastly, the Fastest Skater event was introduced in the Super Skills Competition.
The Super Skills Competition required five tie-breaking penalty shots, until Mario Lemieux scored to claim the victory for the Wales Conference. In addition, Ray Bourque set a record by hitting four targets on four shots in the Accuracy Shooting event and in the inaugural Fastest Skater event finals, Sergei Fedorov defeated his former Soviet linemate Alexander Mogilny in a photo finish.