Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith confirmed today that forward Austin Watson will be out of the lineup for four weeks. The veteran winger sustained an ankle injury during the preseason.
Things are turning sour quickly for the Senators, who’ll now be without both Watson and Colin White, as well as potentially Brady Tkachuk, for their season opener. They’ll play their first game of the 2021-22 season at home on Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Watson, largely brought into Ottawa for his grit and fighting ability, has been a remarkably consistent bottom-six player over the past few seasons. He made his impact felt during his first season in Ottawa last year, tallying three goals and 10 points in 34 games while adding on 40 penalty minutes.
Now 29 years old, the Ann Arbor, Michigan native spent eight years in the Nashville Predators organizations before moving to Ottawa prior to last season. He was a first-round pick of the Predators in 2010, drafted 18th overall. Watson has 39 goals and 87 points in 340 career games.
If Ottawa needs a physical presence while Watson is on the shelf, they could look to Scott Sabourin as an internal replacement. Largely a career AHLer, Sabourin got into 35 games with the Sens back in 2019-20 and could reprise his role as an enforcer again.
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