The Elbow staff
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol has been removed from tonight's game against Buffalo after defenceman Andrew MacDonald was dressed for his seventh game in a row.
Concussion spotters escorted an incoherent Hakstol from the Flyers' bench just after the official team sheet was submitted to referees.
"We have reason to believe that Philadelphia's head coach has suffered a serious concussion and is operating under what we call a 'decreased brain activity zone'," league expert Dr. Kenneth Bragnel said following his ejection.
"This decision, along with his willingness to regularly play Mark Streit, raised several red flags for us."
Hakstol will be required to sit out his team's next game, which happens on Thursday against Arizona.
Immediately following the announcement, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said that while the decision is a blow to the team, it's the right call.
"It's probably for the best that Dave sits out this and the next game," he said. "It's hard to watch him try to go on and fight the concussion, but clearly something was wrong there."
"Obviously as a general manager, you have your suspicions about a guy's decision-making abilities, but having the experts here to clarify that there's a medical problem is a great help."
This is the first season that the league has given spotters the authority to remove players and personnel from the game.
It is believed that the number of spotters at Philadelphia games increased tenfold over the past week, as MacDonald kept getting named in the team's lineup.
Assistant coach Gord Murphy confirmed that MacDonald would not be seen in a Flyers jersey for a "long, long time".