Gretzky is the All-Star MVP

Archived from 1998-99 season.

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Wayne Gretzky, appearing in his 18th All-Star game, had a goal and two assists Sunday to grab MVP honors as the North American team beat the World 8-6 in the NHL All-Star Game.

"I was lucky, I got to play with two very unselfish players," Gretzky said of linemates Theo Fleury and Mark Recchi. "I'd like both for the (New York) Rangers."

Gretzky was a last-minute replacement for Philadelphia's Eric Lindros as the starting center.

Lindros said he relinquished the starting assignment to Gretzky because, "The year is '99 and it could be his last year. The way he played tonight, he's playing well."

Gretzky acknowledged that during the game, he had thoughts about it possibly being his last All-Star appearance.

"But I felt the same way last year in Vancouver," he said. "I thought about it (Sunday), but I don't have a definitive answer until the year's over. I don't want to want to put any thought in to it. I love to play too much."

As usual the All-Star game was a freewheeling offensive show with no hitting, no checking and no goaltending.

"Everything went wild," said Dallas center Mike Modano, who had a goal and three assists. "Guys were scoring when you gave (the puck) to them. It was nice to have some fun out there."

The North Americans beat the World team composed of Europeans for the second straight year in the new format. North America won last year's game 8-7.

Along with Gretzky and Modano, Luc Robitaille, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi, Ray Bourque, Rob Blake and Darryl Sydor scored for the North America team. Along with Sundin, it was Marco Sturm, Teemu Selanne, Pavol Demitra, Mattias Ohlund, and Sergei Zubov.

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