Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness left Sunday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second intermission and did not return due to COVID protocols.
Stars assistant head coach John Stevens replaced Bowness as the temporary head coach for the third period.
Bowness is the oldest coach in the NHL at 66 years old, and this very well could be a precautionary measure by the Stars.
Several reporters, including Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman stated that Bowness has been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin entered COVID-19 protocol earlier this week and Bowness announced he'd miss his scheduled start Saturday against the Hurricanes. After the game, Stars general manager Jim Nill addressed reporters and revealed that Khudobin's positive test was a false positive and he's been cleared to rejoin the team.
Nill also said that Bowness is feeling fine and is "very comfortable" that his test was a false positive.
During training camp, the Stars had a COVID-19 outbreak which affected 17 players, forcing the NHL to postpone their first four scheduled games. Dallas eventually started the season on January 22.
Bowness' exit comes on the heels of the Vancouver Canucks fighting off a COVID-19 outbreak, with 16 players on the COVID-19 list and 21 members, including coaching staff affected. 14 players were originally added to the COVID-19 list, with Jalen Chatfield and Marc Michaelis added to the list Sunday.
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