NEW YORK -- Nashville Predators' forward Austin Watson has been suspended for all preseason and the first 27 games of the 2018-19 regular season, without pay, for unacceptable off-ice conduct, the National Hockey League announced today.
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."