Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson has been suspended 27 games without pay for “unacceptable off-ice conduct,” the NHL announced Wednesday.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) September 12, 2018
Watson, who also is suspended without pay for the entire preseason, pleaded no contest in July to a domestic assault charge.
“I have determined that Nashville Player Austin Watson engaged in a physical confrontation with his domestic partner,” Bettman said in a statement. “Today’s ruling, while tailored to the specific facts of this case and the individuals involved, is necessary and consistent with the NHL’s strongly held view that it cannot and will not tolerate this and similar types of conduct.”s
The Predators issued a statement saying the organization “supported and worked closely” with the NHL’s investigation on Watson.
“During his suspension, we wish Austin, Jenn and their baby the best as they take the necessary steps to move forward, with the support of the Nashville Predators, the NHL, the NHLPA and all the collective resources they can provide,” the team said.
Watson was arrested June 16th in Tennessee. Crazy to know this guy puts hands on women. Not the kind of teammate I’d want to have.
If you're a Predators' player, how do you high-five Austin Watson after a goal? How do you sit next to him on the plane? How do you defend him during a post-whistle scrum?
If NSH keeps him on the roster, then I hope journalists ask players these uncomfortable questions.
— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) September 12, 2018