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Rick Bowness cleared to re-join Stars after a false positive COVID-19 test

Kathryn Tappen, Patrick Sharp and Dominic Moore look ahead to the NHL Trade Deadline on April 12 and the top players available, including Kyle Palmieri, Taylor Hall and Mike Hoffman.

Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness has been cleared to re-join the team after recording a false positive COVID-19 test result.

Bowness, 66, was pulled between the second and third periods during Sunday’s game against Carolina and placed into NHL COVID-19 protocol. Assistant John Stevens took over head coaching duties for the remainder of the game.

Afterward, general manager Jim Nill told reporters that his belief was that it was a case of a false positive result, much like what happened over the weekend with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. He also noted that Bowness and his wife, Judy, are fully-vaccinated.

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“He was a very low grade, but it is still positive,” Nill said Sunday night. “Out of safety concerns, he was pulled. [H]e has been vaccinated. His first vaccination was back sometime in January. He’s had both vaccinations.”

Rick Bowness had been in quarantine in a Carolina hotel. He will now meet up with the Stars in Chicago as they finish off their road trip.

The Stars’ first four games of the season were postponed after 17 players were placed in protocol in January.

“We had a very high percentage of players that got COVID, so they’ve been covered that way,” Nill said. “Whoever wasn’t has been vaccinated. Same as our coaching and medical training. Whoever is in our travelling party has been vaccinated.”

Currently, the Canucks are experiencing the virus spreading through their team with 18 players listed on Tuesday’s update.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.