The Dallas Stars had to play the third period of Sunday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes without head coach Rick Bowness behind the teams' bench. This came after Bowness was removed from the game during the second intermission in Carolina due to COVID-19 protocols.
Before the Stars took the ice for the third period, the team announced that Bowness entered COVID safety protocols and assistant coach John Stevens would take over head coaching duties. After the game, it was revealed that Bowness had a PCR test come back positive during that intermission.
According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the 66-year-old Bowness has been fully vaccinated, which makes Sunday's events even more curious. However, Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle received a false positive on a test earlier this week after being vaccinated months ago.
Bowness has been fully vaccinated, and it is possible this situation could be similar one last week involving NBA Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. But, as the Stars mentioned, he will not return for the third period https://t.co/1LAWhjmAGu https://t.co/mtnkmNeouq— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 5, 2021
Time will tell whether this is another case of a Dallas coach being hit with a false-positive but the NHL clearly acted on the side of caution by removing Bowness from Sunday's game. If it's not a case of a false-positive, well...that makes for a much more concerning discussion.
The NHL continues to battle COVID outbreaks across the league this season. The Stars were the first team forced to postpone games this season, as their season opener was delayed by a few weeks after a team outbreak. The Vancouver Canucks are currently dealing with a massive team outbreak, with as many as 16 players currently on the team's COVID list. All Vancouver games have been postponed through April 6.