The millennium installment in the NHL series brought as usual updated rosters, featuring for the first time the Atlanta Thrashers, plus enhanced graphics and sound.
The two main features of the game are the new Dynasty mode, allowing a player to lead a team to success for 10 straight seasons, while keeping an eye on the new talent on the yearly drafts and trading with other teams, and the face import feature, which gives the chance to assign each custom player their own face based on a photo. To do so, a photo must be placed in a folder, imported and then hotspots (head shape, eyes, nose and mouth) must be set, to define how the texture will be mapped into the face model.
Gameplay became a lot faster and tougher, and two new moves were included: "Big Hit", to flatten the oppositions' golden boy, and "Special Movement", to go around those tough defenders with ease. Other new features include individual player and goalie boost (to give an handicap for a team), jersey selection, including classic throwback jerseys.
One of the most important changes done to the game was how the game timer worked: before, the period length on the clock matched the time set by the player, but starting with NHL 2000, every period has 20 minutes which are compressed into the time set by the player. This makes penalties a lot shorter (a minor elapses in just 30 seconds in a five minute period setting) thus reducing the powerplay percentage, which experienced players could keep in the high 90's in previous games, but also fixes the handicap of goaltenders in played games (a goaltender that suffered a single goal would have his GAA a lot higher than a goalie that suffered more goals in a simulated game).
The rest of the game remains as usual: 28 teams can play in a season (with the ability to choose between a short, medium or long season length), setting the then new NHL overtime loss point, playoffs (with best of 1, 3, 5 or 7 matches), international tournament and shootout. The beginner mode continues to be featured, and allowing players to feel the ice for the first time without having to deal with complicated controls, penalties or tough opponents.
Bill Clement replaced Daryl "Razor" Reaugh in colour commentary, and Jim Hughson remains in play by play. Alternative rock band Garbage provided the lead track (Push it!, from their Version 2.0 album).