Preds' Austin Watson Suspended 27 Games

Posted at 6:57 PM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 20:05:25-04

According to reports by the National Hockey League, Nashville Predators' forward Austin Watson was suspended for all preseason and the first 27 games of the 2018-19 regular season, without pay.

After pleading no contest in July to misdemeanor domestic assault, Watson was suspended for unacceptable off-ice conduct, the National Hockey League announced Wednesday.

Watson was charged in June after allegedly pushing his girlfriend and "inflicting marks on her” during an argument at a Shell gas station on Murfreesboro Road. 

The Predators released the following statement:

"The Nashville Predators supported and worked closely with the National Hockey League investigation regarding Austin 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. Our commitment to AMEND is the same today as it was when we partnered six years ago with the mission of making Nashville the safest city for girls and women. We will continue to evolve and grow our programming to work toward this shared objective."

According to reports, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman levied the suspension under Rule 18-A of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Commissioner's ruling came following an investigation by the League and an in-person hearing in New York on Friday, Sept. 7.

The investigation and hearing were conducted, pursuant to the CBA, to determine the relevant facts and circumstances relating to a June 16, 2018, incident involving Austin Watson and his domestic partner. The incident ultimately resulted in Watson pleading no contest to a charge of domestic assault on July 24, 2018.

"I have determined that Nashville Player Austin Watson engaged in a physical confrontation with his domestic partner," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "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."