CHICAGO, JAN. 18 -- Some are rising, some are fading and some are established and going strong, but the stars of all varieties arrived here today for the 42nd National Hockey League All-Star Game to be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Chicago Stadium.

But when the Wales Conference meets the Campbell Conference, the game's hottest goal scorer, St. Louis Blues right wing Brett Hull, will be in the stands watching. Hull first injured his left ankle Tuesday against the Washington Capitals, then aggravated it in Thursday's game against Montreal. Hull has 46 goals in 47 games and is vying to become the fifth player to score 50 goals within his team's first 50 games. He didn't score against the Canadiens and he hopes the ankle will recover enough to play Tuesday against Minnesota.

"I am disappointed that he isn't playing, not only in this great spectacle, but in this great stadium," said Bobby Hull, the Hall of Fame left wing who played for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets.

"Don't count him out, yet," Hull said of his son's quest for 50 goals in 50 games. "I remember playing for Winnipeg {in the WHA} when I needed three goals in the 50th game to get 50, and I got them."

Every team must be represented by at least one player. The Capitals representative is Kevin Hatcher who probably would have been picked even without that provision. The 24-year-old defenseman, who leads the Capitals in scoring, will make his second straight appearance. The Capitals also are represented by trainer Stan Wong.

Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky are the only two active members of the 50-50 club. Pittsburgh's Lemieux, who has won three all-star MVP awards, has yet to play a game this season while recovering from back surgery, though he finished fifth among Wales Conference centers in fan voting. Gretzky, who leads his Los Angeles Kings and the league in scoring with 91 points, will play, but he said this week that his mind will be elsewhere. Gretzky has a cousin who is a Marine pilot involved in the Middle East conflict and Gretzky suggested the game should be canceled or postponed given the hostilities.

"The 42nd NHL All-Star Game is scheduled to go forward as planned," NHL President John Ziegler said in a statement. "The expressed policy of the United States in World War II was that professional sports, as well as all the business and entertainment, carry on. The same was true as to the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. We will take our guidance from the President of the United States as to the All-Star Game and from both the {U.S.} President and Prime Minister of Canada as to our regular schedule. We have had no indication or signal from the governments that they would wish us not to go forward."

NBC is scheduled to televise the game, though it is possible the network will break from the game to cover the news.

Gretzky was one of the 12 starters chosen by the fans. Hull (the top vote-getter) was another Campbell starter, as were Calgary goalie Mike Vernon and defenseman Al MacInnis, Chicago defenseman Chris Chelios and Los Angeles left wing Luc Robitaille. For the Wales Conference, the fans chose Boston's Ray Bourque and Pittsburgh's Paul Coffey on defense, with Quebec's Joe Sakic at center, Boston's Cam Neely on one wing with Philadelphia's Rick Tocchet at the other. Montreal's Patrick Roy will start in goal.

Boston's Mike Milbury will coach the Wales and Edmonton's John Muckler will coach the Campbell, and both had the job of filling in the rest of the roster. Some thought it would be a final and fitting tribute to include Quebec's Guy Lafleur, so when Milbury passed him up (and had garbage thrown at him in Quebec City), the league announced a new category of veteran players. Lafleur will play for the Wales and Minnesota's Bobby Smith will play for the Campbell.

Hull -- whose spot will be taken by teammate Adam Oates -- was not the only one to drop out because of injury. Montreal's Brian Skrudland broke his foot in the game against the Blues, and was replaced by teammate Denis Savard, a former Blackhawk. Boston's Chris Nilan -- who was a controversial selection because he is an enforcer -- hurt his ankle a few days ago and won't play. His spot was given to teammate and former Capital Dave Christian, who is making his first playoff appearance.