Following an initial 27-game suspension for a domestic assault, the National Hockey League has shortened Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson’s suspension to 18 games.
The league put out the following statement on the ruling.
The National Hockey League Players’ Association and National Hockey League announced today that Nashville Predators’ forward Austin Watson’s 27-game suspension issued pursuant to Article 18-A of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement has been reduced by Arbitrator Shyam Das to a suspension covering the first 18 games of the 2018-19 regular season.
Watson was reported to have appealed the decision as soon as it arrived on Sept. 12.
The Predators released the following statement as soon as news came in.
Statement from the Predators: “Our organization was not involved in the appeal of Austin Watson’s 27-game suspension, but we are aware of its reduction to 18 games. As previously stated, our focus has and will continue to be the health and well-being of Austin and his family.”
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) October 11, 2018
The move puts Watson eligible to return to the team’s lineup on Nov. 15 for the team’s away game against the Arizona Coyotes.
The hockey player was arrested and charged for a domestic assault incident involving his girlfriend in Williamson County over the summer.
Watson plead no contest to the charges and got three months of probation and time in a batterers’ intervention program.
He’s eligible to have the charges expunged from his record if he completes the requisite orders from the court.
The Nashville Predators are 2-1 on the season and next host the Winnipeg Jets at home Thursday night.