Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson celebrates after scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 8, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson has been suspended without pay for the entire preseason and first 27 games of the regular season for domestic abuse.
Commissioner Gary Bettman handed down the suspension Wednesday after an investigation and a hearing with Watson last week. Watson pleaded no contest in July to a charge of domestic assault stemming from an incident in June, and the NHL found Watson engaged in unacceptable off-ice conduct.
Bettman said he has determined Watson engaged in a physical confrontation with his domestic partner. The commissioner said the league cannot and will not tolerate this and similar types of conduct.
The NHL does not have a written domestic abuse policy and has chosen to judge each incident separately. Slava Voynov still is suspended indefinitely for a 2014 incident.