The NHL has suspended Nashville Predators winger Austin Watson 27 games without pay for “unacceptable office conduct”. This is Watson’s second career suspension. Watson pleaded guilty to domestic assault charges in August. The NHL Players’ Association will be filing an appeal on Watson’s suspension. According to Pierre Lebrun of TSN, it should be within the next two to three weeks.
Austin Watson Suspended
Watson has spent his entire four-year career with the Nashville Predators. He has scored 23 goals along with 24 assists for 47 career points in 216 career games. He also has 9 goals and eight assists for 17 points in 35 Stanley Cup Playoff Games. Watson was drafted 18th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Predators.
Last season he scored 14 goals and five assists for 19 points in 76 games. He also added 123 minutes in penalties. Watson scored five goals and three assists in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season. His possession numbers were 46.4 percent Corsi with a relative Corsi of -6.1 percent. Watson signed a three-year, $3.3 million dollar deal in June.
What This Means for the Future
Watson will be eligible to return December 3rd when the Predators host the Buffalo Sabres. Once Watson returns to the line-up expect him to be in the bottom six for the Preds. Throughout his career, Watson has had a reputation of being a gritty guy who isn’t afraid to drop the gloves. Watson had a career year for a Predators team who took the Winnipeg Jets to seven games in the Conference Quarter-Finals last year. Expect Watson to continue to be a physical presence for the Predators once he returns from his suspension.