Last week, the NHL indicated they would be making a final decision on supplementary discipline for Predators winger Austin Watson, who pled no contest to a domestic assault incident earlier this summer. That decision has been made and they announced that Watson has been suspended for the first 27 games of the season as well as the entire preseason. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports (Twitter link) that the NHLPA intends to appeal the suspension.
Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following 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.
Watson’s plea came back in late July and at the time, he was given three months of probation and was placed on judicial diversion. This means that if he complies with all of the terms set, his case will be expunged.
Watson will not be paid for the duration of the suspension and will be eligible to return to Nashville’s lineup on December 3rd.