Stars coach Rick Bowness removed from game over COVID-19 protocols

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Dallas Stars coach Rick Bowness was removed from the bench during the team’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday over coronavirus protocols.

Bowness was sent off in the third period of the team’s 1-0 loss.

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The 66-year-old coach has received both doses of the vaccine already and no other coaching staff member has tested positive, Stars general manager Jim Nill said. Nill believes Bowness’ test result was a false positive.

“We did communicate with the league and they agreed with us: Let’s get him out of the game,” Nill said. “Because of his situation of being vaccinated, and we’d usually regularly get these tests sometime early tomorrow morning. But because this one came back quicker, we consulted with the league and everybody decided this was the right situation.”

Assistant coach John Stevens took over head coaching duties.

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“He has no symptoms and we’re very comfortable in presuming that this is a false positive,” Nill added.

Stars goalkeeper Anton Khudobin was placed into the NHL’s COVID protocol a day before the game. He was supposed to start as goaltender. Nill said Khudobin has since had two negative results and was cleared to travel with the team.

Bowness is set to stay in Carolina quarantining until he is cleared to travel, according to NHL.com.

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“Next man up, and we’ve had great contributions from next men up this year,” Stevens said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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