NHL head coach makes first line player a healthy scratch moments before the game.

First line player scratched at the last minute.


A veteran National Hockey League head coach has just made a stunning decision, on that we honestly do not have an explanation for at this time. 

A report from Chicago Blackhawks insider Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Ryan Hartman has been pulled out of tonight's line up and will be sitting on the sidelines as a healthy scratch. 23-year-old Vinnie Hinostroza will be the man entering the line up in his stead.

Even Lazerus, who normally is a staunch defender of Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, has called the decision into question suggesting that Richard Panik, a player that hasn't scored since his 9th game of the season, would be a much better option. 

What makes this even more confusing is the fact that Hartman was on the Blackhawks top line as recently as Wednesday night when the Blackhawks faced off against the Washington Capitals. 

Hartman was involved in a controversial knee-on-knee hit with Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin in that game, but that doesn't seem like a reason his own coach would bench him. 

While this is purely speculation it seems like there is more than meets the eye here. Has Hartman landed himself in Quenneville's dog house? Is general manager Stan Bowman trying to protect him as he looks for a potential trade for his former first round pick? At this time your guess is as good as mine.